Extracapsular Repair Failure

While checking my blog traffic sources, I found that I had a visitor searching for information on extracapsular repair gone wrong in a dog. My heart goes out to both the owner and the dog.

We too had a scare recently, when Jasmine, after she recovered from bilateral ACL repair, suddenly started limping on her left leg again. Fortunately, it turned out to be a muscle injury, unrelated to the knee. That was a great relief.

If lameness occurs after the recovery period, I believe the first thing to do is to confirm whether the repair truly failed, or whether you're dealing with a different injury, such as muscle, tendon or meniscal injury.

When can extracapsular repair fail?

Fortunately, the chance of the joint failing after full recovery is rather low.

However, any of the ACL surgeries whether it's the TPLO, TTA or extracapsular repair can fail during the recovery time quite easily. That is why a strict post-operative care is important. If the joint is subjected to too much stress too early, things fall apart. One unfortunate jump of the couch can be all that is needed.

One of the reasons we opted for the extracapsular repair was, that the worst case scenario seemed to be starting from square one, should something go wrong. It is the least invasive option from the three.

It is believed, that the odds of failure are high in large breed dogs, simply because the stress on the repaired joint is too great. Jasmine is a proof to the contrary. Our surgeon uses an extra suture to stabilize the joint for larger dogs and has very good results with that. Once recovered, the joint is kept stable by scar tissue and the suture is no longer needed.

What if it does fail?

Unless the reason for the failure was an accident that is not likely to happen again, you might want to consider one of the other surgeries, TPLO or TTA. The recovery time after TPLO and TTA is a bit shorter and not as strict. Keep in mind that every surgery requires a diligent rehabilitation though and things can go wrong with either of the ACL repairs.


  1. That is exatly the type of surgery my dog had (she is 7 weeks post op right now) Our surgeon put 2 - 80lb sutures in because our dog is quite large. Unfortunately...she is not doing as well as expected...after having an X-Ray...our very told us that the Suture has stretched a tiny little bit (probably from that one slip on the ice) he said it hasn't failed yet...andit's just a waiting game to see how her scar tissue builds up. I see on so many sites that this type of surgery is terrible for big dogs (we were never told that) But i have heard some success stories. I just hope after everything is said and done, our dog is one of them...I am glad yours is

  2. Thank you for your comment. Sorry to hear about the mishap. The truth is, that even TPLO or TTA can go wrong if something such as a slip on the ice happens. The recovery period is crucial for success of any of knee surgeries. During Jasmine's recovery we were very paranoid. We had rugs everywhere and when we went outside I was running around with a jar filled with sand for icy areas.

    One unfortunate slip on ice, bad jump of the couch, all these things can be disastrous. With the extracapsular surgery, the suture holds the knee in place so the scar tissue builds up properly. Our vet does this surgery for large dogs all the time with very good results. But things can go wrong during the sensitive recovery time. That's why such a strict post-op regime is in place. But of course one cannot control everything.

    Did you do the x-ray because there was a visible problem? I think it all depends on how much the suture stretched and how stable the knee remains until the scar tissue fully forms.

    But disasters during post-op can happen with TPLO or TTA also.

    Our thoughts are with your and with your dog, sending good vibes and prayers.


  3. PS: we did a thorough research into all options for ACL failure treatments and we opted for extracapsular repair because of our vet's positive results with large dogs and the fact that it is least invasive.

  4. Thanks so much for your reply....Our vet wanted to do an X-Ray (we were supposed to get one done at week 8 anyway) because even though my dog was able to walk (kind of wobbly like though) whenever she just stood there...she would hardly put any weight on her foot at all...she was just touching her toes and sometimes lifting her leg still...so something was definately wrong. However...this past week (after the vet appointment) even though when she stands still...she doesn't put her hole weight on her leg...she no longer just toe touches....and when she walks (a little faster than usual) she gallops (it is quite funny to see) We are now allowed to take her for 2 10 minute walks (to build up her muscle) and she walks just fine..I find after her doing alot of walking...she favors it a bit...but that is probably normal. The vet said that it stretched only a miniscule bit...and the fact that she has a lot of scar tissue right now...he wouldn't call the surgery a fail.

    Your site is almost the only one that actually promotes doing this kind of surgery on large dogs...I am glad I found it..I was beginning to get worried that the wrong surgery was done

    Oh...and my dogs name is Xena

  5. Hi! Glad to hear that Xena is doing better again. Some favoring of the leg is quite normal at this stage. Jasmine would favor her leg for quite some time, particularly after rest following exercise. As long as there is continuous improvement, I believe it should be fine. Jasmine took about 2.5 months before she would stop favoring her leg all together.

    I would not let Xena gallop at this point yet. Controlled exercise/movement is the key. Walking is much safer and more beneficial.

    If you have it available anywhere close, underwater treadmill is a great way of getting the muscles built and the joint moving safely. It really can make a great difference.

    Our vet sold us on the extracapsular repair, because we really wanted some minimally invasive. He was confident that it works for large dogs if the owners stick with the post-op. And we cannot argue the results.

    TPLO is the most common and most people believe in it. It is a reliable and quite a smart surgery. But it can also go wrong during the post-op, and sadly I've seen some dogs which kept walking funny a year after the surgery.

    I am not dismissing the TPLO or TTA surgeries, I think that somebody put a lot of thought into this and it is great to have these options.

    I think your vet should made you aware of all your options before you'd made a decision. We did weigh all the options, and the extracapsular repair was our decision, and we are happy with it.


  6. I wouldn't say trot is the right word....it's more like a fast walk (she doesn't put one foot ahead of the other..she kind of skips - if that makes sense)

    I am telling you...I almost had a heart attack today when I went home for lunch (I go home at noon everyday to let her out for about 30 minutes before going back to work) We have her in a crate...so she had been there since 7am (i figure she is healing when she is in there and can't hurt herself)Well I got home...went into the livingroom (where her crate is - we used to have it in the kitchen...but because she is very hyper and excited to see me...I was afraid of her slipping on the kitchen floor)Anyway...so I go into the livingroom...open the door to her kennel, and out she comes...all of a sudden she lifted her bad leg off the floor, started going around in circles, and owuldn't put it back on the floor (oh my gosh...you have no idea what was going on in my head)

    I went to her, and started rubbing her leg gently (she loves being rubbed anywhere, no matter what)and she slowly put her foot back on the ground (but only toe touching) after about 5 minutes, she ws walking like she usually does....wow....did that ever scare me. I am guessing that maybe her leg was really stiff or something for her to act like that..did anything like that ever happen to you?

    I know oyur not a vet or anything...but have you heard of any other dogs that have had this operation and the suture stretching a bit and still being ok? My husband is the optimistic one...I just know that she should be doing more than she is doing at 7 weeks post op

    I wish there was a way to post her picture so you can see her....


  7. Dear Julie

    At this stage control is important. Try to figure out a way of getting her walking properly = putting one foot ahead of the other. Deep snow might make this hard on her if that's what you have.

    I know exactly how you felt, we had a number of near heart attacks with Jasmine too.

    Going around in circles and not putting any weight on it does sound like quite a bit of pain. Jasmine had times when she would seem to be in more pain than other times, seemed to have to do with the way she was laying. Never walkd around in circles though. It could be that she slept on it too long maybe? Maybe it might have fallen asleep (the leg)? How large is the crate, can she stretch out in it?

    Since it seems to have resolved, I'd think that it was from the way she might have been laying on it. Keep an eye on it and see how things go through the rest of the day.

    It all depends on how much the suture has stretched. You said just a tiny bit ... The job of the sutures is to keep the joint stable while the scar tissue is formed. As long as there isn't too much give, it should be ok. I know cases where with strict exercise control the knee healed without any surgery at all.

    Haven't heard about stretched suture, but I can ask my vet.

    There is a lot of healing that needs to happen in that leg. Favoring the leg isn't anything strange, as long as some improvement is seen. See how she does after this scare. Of course I did rush Jasmine to the vet with everything too, it never hurts to have him to take a look.

    You can post a link to facebook photo or other place if you have them online some place :-)

  8. According to the vet..it has streched so that the space between the knee joints are a bit farther apart than they should be (for example...if they are supposed to be 1" apart...right now it is 1.00005" apart)I know that is not the right measurments, but you get the idea. The thing I am worried about most...is it stretching more or even breaking before the scar tissue is totally there to protect it. You would think that with her being in a crate (and yes it is big enough for her to stretched out, sit up and turn around in) for 8+ hours during the day...out of the cage for maybe 5 hours and then back in it at night when we're sleeping...she would have lots of time to get that scar tissue...the toughest times are the weekends...but the vet gave us some tranquilizers to help her sleep...she fights them though...her eyes could be droopy and she looks like she is going to fall down...but she won't sleep..she just sits there...lol

    If you are talking to your vet at some point...I wouldn't mind you telling him my story and getting his opionion (I know he can't really say much because he hasn't seen her) but even a worded second opinion might help. I find my vet very vague in what he tells us to do and not to do and how Xena is...I mean, he did tell us that the surgery "hasn't failed yet"...Yet?? does that mean it's a matter of time before it does or what? I am not too fond of my vet...but unfortunately, where I live...he's the only one that does this type of surgery..so we had no choice...

    He did tell us that the reason that Xena is still toe touching (a little bit anyway) could be because of the stretched suture..and it could also be because the loss of muscle in her leg....so he is making us give her 2 10 minute walks a day (and she seems to almost walk perfectly)..it is only when she is standing there eating or whatever, it is really strage..you would think it would be more uncomfortable to walk on it then just stand there.

    Xena has a habit of turning around all the time...she does it before she is going to lie down, she did it right before and right after her surgery...I was thinking maybe something was pinching her..but then she was better...so i am thinking she slept on it wrong and it was stiff or asleep. Will watch it when I go home today...and keep you posted.


    I would just like to say...that it is so nice having someone to talk to about this...who understands and can give me opinions...I hope I am not being too much of a nuisance.

  9. Dear Julie

    I shot an email to my vet, but I think he's gone for the day. He has a lot of experience with this, since he's done couple hundred of the extracapsular repairs over time. We're gonna have to wait till tomorrow for a reply though.

    He would also have a better idea what this kind of difference in the give would do for the knee stability. I imagine that with such a minimal stretch it shouldn't make a substantial difference.

    I agree that making sure nothing else happens is crucial. That is what makes the post-op hard - making sure that the suture holds up until the scar tissue is strong enough to hold in place and making sure the knee is stable enough for the scar tissue to develop properly.

    The scar tissue grows slowly, think how long it takes to grow hair. Keeping the knee stable while this is happening is what the sutures do.

    Deep sleep is important so the body can concentrate on the healing process. But the dog cannot sleep all day. I've seen a website on how one can entertain a dog during the post-op, I'll see if I can find it.

    She might also enjoy some of the doggy videos, such as these: http://www.thedogdvd.com/Stanley_Coren.php

    If your vet told you that the surgery hasn't failed yet, I think he meant that things are ok, but the next slip on ice could be it. Bad slip of jump can be it for any of the repairs.

    You can also talk to a vet online here: http://www.justanswer.com/veterinary/dog

    I have talked to most of them over time, they are very good and helpful.

    I'll see what my vet will say about this (looking for past experiences, because he of course cannot assess Xena dog without seeing her)

    Jasmine also used to fidget when drinking/standing for quite a while. Not sure why that seems to be most uncomfortable.

    Favoring the leg when drinking and after getting up from resting with Jasmine lasted the longest, though she would walk it off quickly.

    For getting the muscle mass up, I would really recommend if you could find a place where they do hydrotherapy/underwater treadmill. That is a really awesome rehab program.

    Doing a few circles before laying down is a common behavior in dogs, ours do it sometimes too, particularly when settling down outside.

    I know exactly how you feel. We've been through this with Jasmine twice, once for each leg. And then we had a terrible scare when she started limping after she was all healed up. Fortunately it turned out to be just a pulled groin muscle.


  10. Here are some of the games to entertain her during her recovery:

  11. PS: you might want to get something to raise the bowls, they do seem to have some products at pet stores. I won't hurt anything and might help anyway, larger dogs seem to have a hard time reaching down to the floor for food and drink.

  12. http://dogkneeinjury.com/tplo-complications/

  13. Thank you for all that...and I will definately check out these web sites....I don`t have much to report tonight...my husband came home (and he knew what happened at lunch) and she came out of her cage fine, and starting walking normally...so I am hoping that this was just a fluke and she slept on it wrong or something.

    I am really looking forward to what your vet has to say about all of this...and I really appreciate you taking the time to email him.

    Looking forward to hearing from you again...and I will keep you posted on Xena`s development


  14. Sounds good, it really seems that she was laying on it wrong or something like that. Jasmine would favor her leg more or less depending on how she was resting too.

  15. I do have one more question....during the post op...we were told to try to stretch and bend her leg (kind of a physical thearapy)...but Xena has never allowed us to do that...even now...she could be in the dead of sleep...and I start by rubbing her leg and gently trying to bend it back and forth...as soon as I bend it..she will wake up, curl her nose and growl....I am not sure if that is because she is in pain (although after the last visit to the vet...he gave us Rimadyl for the pain) or if it`s in her head and she just doesn`t like her leg touched because of all the problems she has had with it. Do you think dogs have mental problems like that or do you think it could really hurt?

  16. Yes, that is PROM/Passive Range of Motion. It is actually quite important.

    There could be a number of reasons she doesn't like it, pain would be one of them.

    The other could be just that she doesn't like her leg manipulated, lot of dogs don't like these things.

    So probably a combination of the two. Sneaking up on her is probably quite a bad idea.

    Sounds to me you haven't really done any then? You should talk to your vet about that, plus really look around what do you have for physical therapy in your area.

    Jasmine didn't like her PROM either and would growl, simply telling us that she doesn't want that. At the beginning we were putting a muzzle on her to make sure she could not bite.
    We were using this one: http://happytailsdiscountpetemporium.net/store/images/pink%20dog%20muzzle.jpg

    I am not sure how to stress the importance of the proper rehab regime without making you feel too bad. The PROM is very important from the beginning to keep everything moving the right way. As she's favoring the leg, it is getting neither straightened enough, nor bent enough. The soft tissues need to be worked so they don't shorten, otherwise the proper range of motion might never be re-gained.

    Our vet made a very clear point of the importance of following through the rehab.

    That said, please either you or your husband find the strength to do this. Use the muzzle, particularly now after Xena already learned that she can get you to back off by threatening you.

    Be as gentle and supportive as you can, but also be firm. If you don't feel you can do this, talk to your vet about helping you to get over the period when she's learning that this is simply something that needs to be done.

    Talk to him about it anyway, I am not completely sure how starting 7 weeks in might work.

    It does need to be done gently and carefully, but it does need to be done. Have your vet show you. If you to have a facility with the underwater treadmill in a reasonable distance, talk to them.

    Jasmine didn't like her PROM either. But there was no discussion about it. It might not work for every dog, but with Jasmine we found she was more accepting of the exercise in a standing position. She would walk through our legs for her massage, and in the middle of the massage the PROM would be done. This position was also preventing her from being able to reach back to the hands in case she did decide to bite. We were comfortable enough with her to loose the muzzle, but if you're not sure, just use it to be safe.

    This might not be what you wanted to hear. But it is what I believe. Our vet said many times that the proper rehab can make or break the success of the recovery.


  17. Please don`t worry about anything you say to me...our vet didn`t tell us about the "prom"..it was on the generic recovery sheet we got after her surgery...we didn`t know how important it was.

    With that said...we just did it...we found a way...my husband "cuddles her" and I work her leg...she didn`t seem to care one bit...she just liked the cuddling, and she was asleep at the time,..so for us, that might be the best. I did it for 10 minutes...and there was no growling, or no wrinkling of the nose...she almost seemed to enjoy it. (she was just happy to be snuggling with Rob (my husband))

    Her knee was cracking when I did it though....is that normal? Also...how often should we do it? I don`t think I could do it by myself...but with Rob`s help...she didn`t seem to mind. That could be a good thing right?

    You said after 7 weeks, you don`t know how it would affect her...did that mean that if we start doing it regulary....it won`t help anything because it`s been too long? I wish my vet would have told us how impotant it was

  18. That is excellent! I'm glad you found a way to make it work with Xena. I still would be a bit wary about doing it to her in her sleep, but you know your dog.

    Yes, if she didn't mind it this way, that's a good thing. Whatever works.

    This exercise is important for number of things, one of the more important ones is to keep the soft tissues from shortening. This would then affect her range of motion on that leg for the future.

    Since you're pretty much starting from scratch,
    I would start from scratch on the sheet = 2-3 times a day, 10 extensions and 10 flexes. We always did the massage before and after. Do it gently, don't force it too far beyond where it wants to go, just a touch (think of stretching exercises when you do them yourself, you want to work it, but don't want to over-do it)

    Crackling in the knee could be from arthritis. Arthritis sets in very quickly after an ACL injury. It could be some damage to the meniscus too, but I imagine your vet checked that out and would have removed it if it was badly damaged. I wouldn't worry about it immediately, but bring it up to your vet next time you see him.

    That said my knees pop and crack since I was 15 and they usually don't hurt. But do tell to your vet next time you're there.

    Are you doing something on the arthritis front?

  19. Sorry, missed the last paragraph. Well, I think that some shortening might have occurred through that time. I know muscles can be stretched again, I think that tendons might do the same over time. Keep up with the PROM regime, discuss this with your vet, or better yet, try to find some physiotherapy place and consult with them.

  20. Our vet hasn't said anything about the arthritis yet...I know she had a bit of it before her surgery...I am guessing he will give me something for it after our final re-check...

    This morning we did the PROM again...and she was awake..she didn't particularly like it...but my husband was rubbing her down and we did it with no problem.

    Will keep keeping you posted...and let me know if the vet gets back to you


  21. Dear Julie

    Arthritis is common in large breed dogs, plus even in healthy injury it starts developing as soon as two weeks since the injury. The stabilization of the knee should help to prevent it, but it is still quite common. There are a number of things you can do to help Xena with this, please see my article Talk To Me About Arhtritis. There are some very safe supplements, such as glucosamine products and MSM, physio helps, acupuncture is a good and safe way to help arthritis. And of course stem cells if you can afford that. Personally I would do any of these things before resorting to NSAIDs.

    I would talk to your vet about it during your next visit. There is no reason why this would need to wait. Some of these things would be beneficial for both the arthritis and healing of the knee. We did combination of the extracapsular surgery and stem cell treatment for both knees. We also do give the MSM and glucosamine supplements, plus antioxidants.

    Glad Xena is accepting the PROM. I doubt she'll ever like it, but it will help her a lot.

    Heard from my vet. He cannot really say much without examining the dog, but here is what he said:

    Sutures or the tissue holding them can give way. Depends on activity, materials, tissue strength etc.

    Prognosis for knee, could mean failure of surgery, could mean delay in healing only , so depends on case

    If situation is not too bad, stem cells might rescue the situation ... But stable knee most important factor


    Not much to go on there, but he doesn't have that much to go on either. Considering the fact that your vet said that the suture stretch is minimal, let's be hopeful that it means delay in healing only.

    Keep the knee as safe as you can, continue with the regime and see what your vet says on her next exam.


  22. Next time you talk to your vet..thank him for me...I kind of got the impression from my vet when he said that it stretched only a bit, and that it didn't mean failure....that maybe he was thinking delay in healing also. I must say that xena is walking better on her leg everyday (has a bit more trouble after waking up, but I am guessing that is normal)and I watch her everytime she is just standing still or eating...and before we took her to the vet, she was only toe touching (and very lightly at that) and she would lightly lift her toes off the ground (not with her leg all the way back) just like she was tapping her toes (does that make sense?) and now when she is standing there...she still taps her toes a bit...but when she is standing she has her front pads on the ground firmly (her back pad isn't on the ground yet) so that is a good sign. She still puts most of her weight on the other side (you can see her leaning to one side) but it is definately more even than it was a week ago.

    I have a question about glucosamine..I have heard from may people that vets do precribe that for their patients...but it is the same medicine that people use (only the dose is different)(and it is much cheaper than what the vet charges) is that true? I wouldn't even know how to go about finding glucosamine in the pharmacy...but is it a possibilty? As I said...alot of people have told me that is what they do for their dogs...but after all we've gone through with her...i don't want to give her something that will make her sick.


  23. One more question for you...I know you say the PROM is important...I guess what I am afraid of is since she is not healing as well as she should....would doing the PROM make the suture stretched or even break? I know it has alot of layers of protection...but I wouldn't want to stretch her leg out and at the same time stretch the suture...am I being too paranoid? I obviously don't know as much about this like you...but you can never be too safe.

  24. Dear Julie

    Yes, I think that you might be ok as long as nothing else bad happens. Right now, that is the premise you need to go with anyway, until you're vet can make further assessment.

    Yes, Jasmine was always favoring her leg more after waking up, even when she was not favoring the leg at all otherwise, some stiffness after getting up after rest was apparent the longest.

    Yes, Jasmine did the tapping as well when standing, particularly when drinking. That also lasted for quite a long time.

    I think as long as you keep seeing improvement things are on the right path.

    re: glucosamine
    Yes, technically it is the same, but I believe that going with a veterinary formula makes more sense. Some of the products I believe to be good are Sasha's Blend, Bio Joint, Synovi G or UbaVet. Some of these are available at dog health food stores. I would stick with the ones designed specifically for dogs.

    Does Xena have any food allergies? The Sasha's Blend is 'fish' based and the UbaVet is completely safe. Synovi G has good safe ingredients. Bio Joint does have chicken in it.

    re: PROM
    The suture can only stretch when stressed in a direction/distance it's not meant to go. It is designed to allow proper joint movement.

    If you do the PROM gently and not force the leg, it is not going anywhere it is not meant to go.

    Here is a pretty good video of how it's done.
    The sutures are not meant to prevent the knee from moving, they are to prevent it from moving where it should go.

  25. Thank you for the information on the glucosamine
    ...I think I will take what the vet gives me. As for all those things that you mentioned about that I might be able to get at a dog health food store....do any of those help with Arthritis, or are they mainly for keeping the dogs weight down and giving them healthy food? Xena doesn`t have any food allergies (as far as we know anyway) right now she is on regular dog food (Alpo)..and she has always been on that..but sometimes my husband makes fish or chicken and gives her little bits...and she is fine with that.

    Is there any arthritis stuff that I can get for her without seeing my vet? The r`t go back reason I am asking is that we don`t go back to see the vet until march 27th...at which time I guess he will check to see if it has passed or failed....but I am kind of thinking she should be on something now...should I call and just get something over the phone with my vet or wait until the 27th when he sees her?

    I watched the video about the PROM...and I feel so bad for not doing it from day 1...we told the vet that she was growling and snarling when we did it, and he told us not to do it...but I guess we should have kept it going. I saved it in my favorties and will play it everytime we do the prom...although we just did it about 30 minutes ago....and she was not happy..she was trying to bite and she was snarling (my husband was holding her down)...I wish I knew if it hurt her or she just is paranoid with anyone touching her leg...the video said that if she is in pain to stop...but how do we know?



  26. I have meant to ask you this a few times....our vet has prescribed Ridamyl about 3 times in 8 weeks (she is on it now) I heard that it is not good for a dog to keep taking it for a long period of time...do you know anything about this? He prescribed it for the pain she might be having

  27. The products I named are glucosamine supplements. Some available at the vet's, some in the store. There are many of there products available.

    The dog health food stores do have glucosamine products. Might have MSM also, not sure if on it's own, but definitely as a part of a glucosamine supplement I think. You can try any of those.

    I'm sure that the PROM might hurt. The question is of how much. I'm sure you're doing it gently and forcing the leg. I cannot assess from here how painful it might or might not be for Xena. I know Jasmine didn't like hers either. I don't imagine that the leg should hurt that badly seven weeks since the surgery ...? You are doing it gently and only where the leg lets you go, right?

    If pain is a concern, you'd have no choice than to have it assessed by your vet.

    If she was trying to bite you might really want to consider the muzzle.

    Rimadyl in an NSAID medication. It is usually quite effective to control inflammation and pain. Personally I am not a big fan of NSAIDs, but some pain control is needed. We were using Gabapenting (slow acting) and Tramadol (fast acting) as needed. Zytram is also a good slow acting pain relief.

    Again, you do need to discuss that with your vet.

  28. Just got an idea how you might be asses how big of a role pain is playing in her reaction to the PROM. Try a different leg.

  29. Well we just did all 3 steps that the video told us to do...and even though Xen wasn`t too happy...she let us do them. We are going to wait a bit and then do your suggestion and try her other leg. We were kind of paying around with all of her legs at one point, and she seemed to growl and snarl at every leg she had...so I am guessing that it annoys her more than it hurts her...but we will do the test. And as far as biting...it`s more of a gentle touch with the teeth that she does...it looks dangerous...but it`really doesn`t hurt...eith me, if she is mad...she starts licking my hand...lol

    We are going to go to the pet store on Saturday...is there any particular thing that you recommend that has glucosamine in it? Or should we ask the store owner what they recommend for Arthritis?

  30. I forgot...why are you not a big fan of NSAID Medication? Is it dangerous for the pet?

  31. Yes, if she doesn't like it with either leg, which isn't all that uncommon, the pain should not be the main factor = it's safe to continue with the PROM as long as you can keep yourself safe. The muzzle we used is very light, easy to put on and not very horrible at all, though Jasmine liked the muzzle even less than the PROM itself.

    Just don't get yourself bitten. I think it's better to be safe than sorry.

    The Sasha's blend is really good. Any of those I named are quite good. But your store might recommend something else. There are many of these products out there, I imagine at least some of them will be good.

    Yes, NSAIDs can have serious side effects. Doesn't mean they will, but they can. Jasmine didn't do well on them. For pain management after surgery I would opt for the pain meds instead, for long time management the things I listed in the arthritis article.

    There is an article on NSAIDs too. Most dogs do fine with them. But thing can go quite wrong in some dogs. That's not the say that other drugs cannot cause problems.

    We used pain meds to control the pain after surgery (Gabapenting and Tramadol) and more natural solutions long term.

  32. Just a quick question before I go to bed...Xena is on Tranquilizers (Acevet) and we give her 2 a day (1 in the morning and 1 at night) what are your thoughts on this? I feel really bad about it...but if she doesn`t have it, she is so hyper and wants to run around...I am afraid she will hurt herself more...but having her drugged up, makes me feel bad....did you ever have to have Jasmine on anything like this?

  33. Dear Julie

    I actually don't know that one. It seems that it's being used quite a bit for number of indications. It seems relatively safe unless your dog has some cardiovascular issues.

    We never had this drug prescribed for anything. I guess it makes sense to use something to calm her down if she's very hyperactive.


    You might need to do some research on that. I figure your vet prescribed it because you mentioned the hyperactivity?

    Where are you located?

    You can ask a vet at www.justanswer.com, there is usually always somebody around.

    Sorry, can't really help you with that one.

  34. I am located in winnipeg canada...and unfortunately...I have tried going to justanswer...but it costs money which we really don`t have.....but yes, the vet prescribed it because Xena is very hyper and this calms her down (almost too much) I was just wondering if you had your dog on any tranquilizer because of hyper ness.

    We tried the "other leg test" and she did the same thing (growling, snarling) so I think it`s just her legs she doesn`t like being touched becauce of all the problems she has had with them...it`s like it is all in her mind...is that possible?

  35. Well, the drug seems to be relatively safe. I guess it might be better than risking an injury to the knee. You know how hyper Xena might or might not be.

    I cannot really judge from here what she might do when she's off it. You would need to discuss that with your vet.

    re: leg test
    Well, the good news is that it seems that pain is not the issue here.

    It is not uncommon that dogs don't like having their legs handled. It is best to introduce a dog to these things when he's a puppy and desensitize them to it.

    You might still try doing something like that, between the PROM sessions, do as you would for the PROM, but have some yummy treats handy. Touch her leg gently and reward if she lets you. Then touch a foot and again reward when she doesn't react.

    Praise every time she lets you do something without complaining.

    It's kind of hard doing that plus the real PROM together, but it might help.

  36. Hi Jana

    I figured i would contact you again and give you an update on how Xena is doing...Not much new to report though..lol She seems to be getting a bit better...walking on her leg more steadily now, and when she just stands there, I do see her putting more weight on it (and then on the other hand...there are times where she will hardly put weight on it - but you said that Jasmine did that for awhile too right?) We are still doing the PROM (we are up to 15 - 3 times a day)and she no longer growls or whines...she will sometimes fight me and tense her leg, so I have a hard time straightening it..and sometimes she will try to riggle out of my husbands hold...but for the most part...she just lies there and takes it (as long as she gets a cookie after...lol) So that is a good sign right? You would think that if it was hurting she would put up more of a fight. We have 2 more weeks to go until we go back to the vet for his final exam (to say whether or not it has failed) but I am thinking, it hasn't failed and that it was just taking longer than usual. We are still very careful as to what we let her do and don't do (I can't wait until I can give her toys back to her)

    All in all....the progress is slow...but it seems to be improving


  37. Dear Julie

    I was just thinking about you yesterday! :-)

    No news is generally good news. It does take time, take a look how long it takes to grow hair.

    I am glad you're seeing improvement, that is a good sign. As long as some improvement is seen over time, it should be good. Yes, Jasmine was tapping when standing for quite some time. Also soreness after rest following exercise was apparent for quite some time.

    Great news she is accepting the PROM better. You think that's bad, you should see Jasmine when she sees a syringe. She almost turns wrong side out :-)

    Cookie after surely helps. Jasmine had problems with her appetite as well at that time, so the only reward we could offer was her little walk. Once there is an incentive, there is much better acceptation.

    It doesn't sound that major pain is or was the issue, particularly since her reaction was the same to the healthy leg also.

    Yes, be very careful, that is all you can do. Since you said the stretch of the suture was minimal and some gradual improvement is apparent, that you might be in a clear. Let me know what the vet says when he gets to examine her.


  38. Hi Jana....1 more week until we go back to the vet...and Xena seems to be doing ok. We're still doing her PROMS...and what i find now is that she tenses her leg when I am trying to straighten it, so we really have to work to get it straight..lol I guess that is a good thing, it means she is developing muscle in her leg again?

    I do have a question though...is it normal for her leg to be kind of bent when she is standiing still? She is putting weight on her leg, but when she stands there, it looks as though her leg is crooked and not as straight as the other one...could that be because her ligaments have shortened? It doesn't seem to bother her, it just looks funny when she is standing there...but on the flip side of the coin...when she wakes up and does her stretching...she will stretch that leg out really far...so I know she can do it...

  39. Dear Julie

    This is great, every time I think about you I get an update the next day! :-)

    A good way to assess the progress of the muscle development is to measure the circumference. This will give you an accurate idea of the progress. Eventual goal is for both legs having identical circumference. But until that happens, you still will be able to see how the leg is improving if measuring regularly.

    Dogs often tense their muscles to prevent manipulation of the leg, that's why often the drawer sign is hard to evaluate.

    I don't think I would force the leg a whole lot, rather try to get her relaxed or distracted. But yes, the stronger the muscles, the stronger the resistance would be.

    Kind of bent is a bit hard for me to imagine exactly. I don't seem to remember Jasmine doing that.

    I think that potentially it could mean that the ligaments or muscles might be a bit shorter than they should or something along those lines. Since she doesn't seem to be in pain and your appointment is soon, I would just wait what your vet thinks of it.

    On the upside, here is a quote from a discussion I was having about the newest type of knee surgery (Triple Tibial Osteotomy): As we know now there is no great difference between a TPLO and an extracapsular repair at 18 months post op.


  40. I just measuered around both knees...and her good knee measured 11.5" and her bad knee measured 10.5"...so there is an inch difference...that seems like alot...should I also measure the length of both of her legs while they are straight to see if that is why her bad knee seems bent? I know you said before that we should have started the PROMS right after her surgery...but do have you heard anything about starting it later and it still working?

  41. Dear Julie

    Actually you want to measure the circumference in the thigh, sorry, should have been more clear about that.

    There will be a difference in this situation. Jasmine had a difference of 2 inches after her muscle injury.

    I am sure it was even more earlier and it will keep improving. There will be some difference until she starts using the legs equally for a period of time. The measuring shows the progress of the muscle development, and it is a measure of how evenly she's using the legs.

    I don't think measuring the length would show much.

    No, unfortunately I haven't come across any information with delayed PROM after and ACL injury. The PROM had number of benefits for the leg. However, the situation was what it was, and I don't think it's the worst thing that could happen during the recovery. Stability of the knee joint is the most crucial factor.

    You will need to wait for you vet's assessment to see what he thinks.

    I think that as long as there is continuous improvement, things should work out.

  42. Oh...and it is good to know that TPLO and extracapsular repair have the same results after 18 months....I was very worried that we chose the wrong surgery...we are not rich people, but even though this surgery was cheaper...the vet told us that he recommended it..which is why we went with it...after seeing everyone say that this surgery is not good for big dogs...I was really scared....

  43. ok....thanks for clearing that up...we did it again to her thigh..her good leg is 17.5" and her bad leg is 14.5"..that`s 3" difference....is that normal? I know you said every dog is different...so I am just making sure that hopefully we are on the right path

  44. Well, the main issue is that the post-op is longer, tougher and the vulnerability is higher. So it is a question of making it to those 18 months safely.

    On the other hand it is less invasive, that's one of the reasons why we went with that after researching all available options. And our vet feels very positive about it.

  45. I would say that 3 inch difference at this stage would be quite normal. Muscle mass is much easier lost than re-gained.

    We didn't do much measuring after Jasmine's ACL repairs, simply because we were at her vet's so often we didn't see the need.

    However, as I mentioned, Jasmine ended up with 2 inch difference after her muscle injury, and she wasn't favoring the leg all that much as far as one could tell. This resolved relatively quickly with cold laser therapy and underwater treadmill exercise.

    The main purpose of the circumference measuring is to monitor the progress. So as long as the difference decreases over time, the leg should be on the right path.

    You are doing the multiple controlled walks a day, right? Did you add any of the other functional strength exercises, such as the figure eights, walking of an foam mat etc? Is your vet guiding you through the rehab at all?

  46. The vet told us to take her for 2 10 minute walks a day I think that is because she wasn`t doing too well 2 weeks ago)...and that is what we do..our vet hasn`t guided us through any rehab at all...he just gave us the sheet to work through...we have tried the figure eights (although Xena isn`t too good at it...lol) what do walking on foam mats do? Do you think tha because it`s been 3 weeks since out vet visit...we should be taking her for more walks? Or at least longer ones? The vet said she could go up and down the stairs..but of course we have her leash on her at all times...and I guess being in a kennle for 5 to 6 hours at a time (8 hours during the day) might be having the scar tissue going nicely...but isn`t doing much for gaining her muscle back. I find that when I come home at lunch to let her out...I have to message her leg before she starts walking normally...could be the arthritis I guess. We have changed her food to Pedigree vitality...which has glusocamine in it...she doesn`t like it too much..but she eats it

  47. The good thing is, that the sheet is pretty well done, and can be followed exactly unless some issue arise.

    The goal of the rehab exercise program is to build things up gradually. Therefore there should be progressive increase in exercise, depending on the condition of the dog.

    I know Jasmine's was pushed back once also, because her fibrous tissue wasn't keeping up with her weight bearing.

    The rehab sheet introduces multiple walks since day 10. It is actually better to do more shorter walks then couple longer ones.

    When starting from scratch from the surgery, but day 10-28 the sheet recommends 5-10 minute walks 2-3 times a day, which after 7 days would gradually increase in frequency and length up to 15-20 minutes 3 times a day.

    The gradual increase is to stimulate the muscle development and stamina, keeping the joints moving, without more stress on the leg than it can take.

    Since you're going to see your vet shortly, I would probably leave things as they are until the check-up, though I think that adding one more short walk would not hurt anything.

    The figure eights are one of a very good exercises to get the legs in a good shape. She won't be good at it right away. That's why very wide figure eights are recommended at the beginning, and then gradually closing them in for tighter turns.

    The foam mat is actually quite great rehab tool. It should be about 2 inches deep and 8-10 ft long. Walking on the foam forces the dog to raise their legs higher = exercises muscles better and encourages a greater range of motion on the joints. It's really quite cool.

    I would not introduce the stairs just yet, unless you really need to.

    It is definitely better to introduce more walks rather than longer ones.

    Normal quality food with glucosamine supplement might work better for your dog. Just learned about a good one, it is called Dasuquin. But there are plenty of products there.

    Hope this helps

  48. Hi Jana

    I have a quick question....Xena had finished her prescription of Ridamyl on Friday morning...and it seems as though yesterday (Saturday) and today...she seems to be doing alot more toe touching and not putting a whole lot og weight on her leg anymore....could that be because she is no longer taking Ridamyl and maybe she is feeling the pain of her leg a bit more? She or we haven`t done anything different...it just seems like when she woke up Saturday morning...her leg was bothering her more than usual..so I am just wondering if it could be because she is off her meds..
    What do you think?

  49. Dear Julie

    While it could be something else, yes, it could be being off the medication. Rimadyl is an NSAID, that is meant to control inflammation and pain.

    We had Jasmine on pain management until she was fully healed, though we did not use NSAIDs, we used Zytram (long lasting) and Tramadol (fast acting) pain medications. Gabapentin is also an option. I seem to remember that the pain meds would still be making visible difference two months after the surgery, because we did try to cut down at that time.

    Plus, depending on the amount of arthritis that could be bothering her also and the NSAIDs would mask that.

    When do you have your appointment? I think some form of pain management is beneficial, but I do not recommend over-the-counter human drugs at all.

    One thing that could be helpful and it is quite benign is Traumeel. It's a homeopathic NSAIDs equivalent of sorts, and might be available in your drugstore health/natural section.

    Helps managing pain from injuries and traumas in most dogs. Reports minimum side-effects, unless the dog is allergic to one of the ingredients.

    However, I would not start anything new without talking to your vet.

  50. Our vet appointment is on Saturday (so 6 days away) So I guess it is safe to assume that we should do nothing until we talk to him?? I know it could be something else...but it is just too much of a coincidence that as soon as we run out of her meds...she starts looking worse. When we are at the vet..I am going to ask him for something to help with her arthritis long term...because when he originally took the first X-Ray (before her surgery) he said there was already some arthritis developing...and I am sure it is worse now

  51. I would definitely not do nothing.

    I do agree that the absence of pain management would likely cause the increased lameness, it did make a visible difference for Jasmine two months post-op.

    I meant not do anything without your vet, and that's why I asked when the appointment is. I think that 6 days is a long time. Successful inflammation and pain management is actually important not only for the dog, but also for the rehabilitation process.

    Please call him tomorrow. He can either prescribe more medication (if he is far away, some medications can be called in to a local pharmacy). Or he could confirm the Traumeel and recommend proper dose (if he heard of it, it is mostly homeopatic vets' domain).

    The safety of the product is very high, unless there is an allergic reaction to one of the components. (rare, but it can happen)

    The most important thing about the Traumeel would be figuring out the right dose for Xena.

    Regarding the arthritis, please read my article Talk To Me About Arthritis

    A new product that is out and seems it should be quite good is Dasuquin. Another good product is Sasha's Blend. There are many supplement products, plus there are other treatment options that work though your vet might or might not agree with those (such as acupuncture).

  52. I will definately call him tomorrow. What is Sasha`s Blend? (dog food, pill etc.)and what does it do exactly? and I know you had mentioned a few others that you said we could get in a pet store...are they all foods? As I told you...we have her on a new dog food that has glusocamine in it..but I am guessing that there is a minimal amount in the food and won`t make that much of a differance at this point?
    Just curious...are you from Canada or the USA? The reason I am asking is because sometimes what they sell in the states..they don`t sell here

  53. Yes, the arthritis supplements a nutraceuticals, which means yes, they are pretty much food in a way. They come in all shapes and forms, from liquids, chewable tablets, to powders. There seem to be more products than dogs out there :-)

    formula is a combination of marine concentrates with high natural anti inflammatory and joint protective properties.

    Dasuquin is using a blend of traditional glucosamine and chondroitin formula, with addition of ASU (type of oils from avocado and soybeans) which is one of the new hot things for arthritis. We were considering it ourselves, but cannot use it because of the soy (Jasmine's allergic to soy)

    Glucosamine is a good supplement, but really only a part of most of the formulas. I cannot judge the quantities and quality in the food you're using.

    I am in Ontario.

  54. My husband just asked a question...because the food we are giving her has glucosamine in it...is it harmful to give her other arthritis supplements that you`ve talked about...too much of something could be harmful too?? Also...if we go get her Sasha or Dasuquin (as far as I know..Xena isn`t allergic to anything)if our vet prescribed somthing for her arthritis (in pill form)...could we still give her the supplements too...or is it one or the other?

  55. Glucosamine is quite safe and doesn't seem linked with overdose toxicity. The only side effect of potential overdose could be diarrhea.

    While glucosamine is safe, over-supplementing doesn't really make much sense.

    It is important to coordinate with your vet.

    Unfortunately the most likely 'pill form' your vet might prescribe are the NSAIDs, which I am not a big fan of, though they do work to control the inflammation and pain.

    Glucosamine supplements however do not have any contraindication with NSAIDs I know of.

    Some of the supplements, such as Sashas, however might, because of other active ingredients.

    It is best to have a vet who you trust and can talk to, to discuss the best course of treatment. Most of the arthritis treatments as described in my article can/and it is usually beneficial if they are used in combination.

  56. Unless he prescribes NSAIDs, your vet is most likely recommend one of the nutraceuticals, such as the products I suggested above.

  57. Get this...we called our vet tonight (ours is open 24 hours) and guess what he recommended?? He recommended us giving her Human glocosamine that we get in the pharmacy...he told us to give her 500 mg a day. We asked about all the ones that you had mentioned (because we told him that we didn`t want her on NSaids anymore) and he said they are just watered down versions of Rydamil...so what he wants to do is have us get the glucosamine at the pharmacy and use that...he says it is really safe as long as we give her the dose he tells us too...
    your thoughts?

    Our vet wants to know..the names that you mentioned (because he has never heard of them) are they Brand names?)

  58. Oh, cool, glad you got to talk to your vet. Nothing wrong with human glucosamine, it is the same nutrient after all, though I am a fan of some of the dog specific products over human supplements.

    Human glucosamine is just a watered down version of Rymadil? Perhaps, I wasn't paying that much attention to human products. Please let me know which product you will be using, if you don't mind.

    Yes, those are brand names (I included links in the earlier post). It is mine and our vet's believe that these are one of the better products from the bunch. Of course there are plenty more. The Dasuquin is quite new, so maybe he didn't hear of it yet. Sashas Blend has been around for quite a while, and either of our vets (primary and TCVM one) both recommend this product. The reason we didn't use it with Jasmine is that is tastes REALLY fishy and she wouldn't come anywhere near it.

    We are presently using UbaVet, tried Synovi G and also BioJoint in the past.

  59. You misunderstood what I said...our vet didn`t say that human Glucosamine is a watered down version..he said he thought the products you mentioned were (Sasha`s Blend etc.)I guess our vet likes the more "prescription type" meds, than supplements. We are going to try to get Xena some Glocosamine at the pharmacy tomorrow...the vet said try it until our appointment on Saturday and see how it is going...he told us that it is exactly the same as what the vets give, except cheaper and we have to be careful of the dosage. So my husband is going to ask the phamacist how much is 500 mg..and we will go from there. If that works, I think we will continue with that...if not, or if the vet thinks its not a good idea long term....then I am thinking of seeing if I could find that new one that is out...or Sasha`s blend (Xena LOVES fish)

    Can I ask you....if human supplements are the same as dogs (glucoasime) why is it that you would prefer to go with something made for dogs? Is it because of the dosage? Our vet said he even recommended cats to use the human stuff... I don`t want to do anything wrong....so I am trying to get all the facts

  60. Oh, I see, that's a relief :-)
    No, the products (Sashas and Dasuqin) at glucosamine supplement kind of products.

    That would be good for the arthritis. For pain management I was suggesting Zytram or Tramadol.

    Glucosamine supplements of any kind are slow acting, and won't do much for pain management right now, it is a long term solution which brings results gradually over time.

    I'm still not sure what you're getting in the pharmacy, pain meds, NSAIDs or glucosamine supplement?

    Supplements for dogs have ingredients other than the glucosamine alone. The human supplements I saw don't have much else in it.

  61. To confirm what I was saying...the vet wants us to get human glocosamine at the pharmacy and try that...now that I have confirmed what I meant..I am now confused. Glocosamine is only for the arthritis (long term) and not for the pain (which is what I understood you just saying)...so I have 2 questions for you...

    1. can we get the glucosamine and one of the pain meds you talked about (having her take 2 at the same time)
    2. if we got one of the brands you were talking about...do those do both arthritis and pain (2 in 1 type of thing)

    If the arthritis is causing her the pain...using the glucosamine to help with her arthritis wouldn`t that help with the pain?

    I know you said that glucosamine is good for the long run...but I need something to help from now to the long run....so can I put her on 2 things, or is the type of things you use good for both?

  62. Oh, plus the other one I mentioned wast the Traumeel. It actually works quite different than the NSAIDs.

  63. Glucosamine works for pain in terms that it helps the cartilages in the joint. So it does help with pain, but doesn't happen too quickly.

    Glucosamine is safe to combine with pretty much anything else, I am not aware of any contraindications.

    All good glucosamine supplements help with pain in terms of helping with arthritis, but they are not fast acting.

    They don't do anything for pain from trauma, injury or post-op.

    For helping now with the post-op I was suggesting the Zytram, or Gabapentin. Or the Traumeel could work too, that is a holistic formula for pain and inflammation, particularly from trauma - hence Traumeel.

  64. ok....one thing you didn`t answer...if we don`t get the glucosamine...and we get one of the ones you suggested...will that work for both pain (right now) and her arthritis? I don`t like giving her too many meds...so if we can shoot 2 birds with one stone (instead of having her on glucosamine and a pain med) then I would rather go that route.

  65. Glucosamine is a type of nutrient, it's not really a medication.

    If you get the Zytram or Gabapenting, those are pain medications. They will help with the pain right away.

    That will deal with the post-op pain management.

    You could stick with the Rimadyl if you'd like, also manages inflammation and resulting pain, since your dog doesn't seem to have a problem with it.

    You don't have to worry about the fact that I am not a fan of NSAIDs, it would be a lengthy discussion about why.

    Either of these will take you through the post-op.

    NSAIDs are often used when dealing with arthritis, but I believe there are better ways of doing that. We can discuss that later. The arthritis isn't such a time sensitive issue.

  66. ok..so long story short...do you believe that Shasha`s Blend or Dasuquin (or all of the others you have mentioned) would be better than putting her on Glucosamine...do those products have the ingredients to help the pain and arthritis? I have heard too many negative things (and not just from you) about NSaids...so I don`t want to keep her on those...but if I put her on Dasuquin or the others you have mentioned...would that help both her pain and arthritis symptoms? I am strating to think I am not making myself clear in what i want to know..lol I hope this expalins it

  67. re: Glucosamine
    All these products are joint supplements to treat arthritis. There is a very broad range of these products. Most of them contain glucosamine. Glucosamine works best when combined with chondrotoin. Plus different products have different additional ingredients. All these are aimed to deal with arthritis. It doesn't really matter THAT much which one you go with, but I believe that some of the additional ingredients provide additional benefit. For example, if you take a look at product information on the Dasuqin, at the link I posted earlier, you'll see what else besides the glucosamine is included in the product and why.

    Glucosamine is the main joint supplement, but often some of the other ingredients provide additional benefit.

    re: NSAIDs
    Yes, I prefer staying away from them. That's why we used plain pain meds for the post-op pain management, which are either the Zytram or Gabapentin. Those are pain meds.

    For the arthritis, there are experts who believe that while NSAIDs manage the inflammation and pain, that might actually contribute to the degeneration of the joint. That besides the regular bad things heard about it.

    To summarize:
    Zytram, Gabapentin or like are pain meds and they will help with post-op pain management. They don't do anything for arthritis though.

    The various glucosamine supplements help with the arthritis. Plus acupuncture can also help with arthritis quite a bit.

    So it is two types of treatments. One for the post-op pain and one for the arthritis.

    Let's see if we are on the same page now ;-)

  68. I am going to bed now, so hopefully I will get an answer in the morning...I am going to try and put this answer as simple as possiblr..using one of the supplements that you mentioned...

    If I put Xena on Dasuquin or Sasha's Blend...will that help with the pain and the arthritis...OR should I put her on Gllucosamine and one of the pain meds that you talked about? You said that Jasmine was now on Ubavet...is that just for arthritis? Or does that help with the pain?

    I am thinking we are still not on the same page...lol

  69. Glucosamine, Dasuquin, Sashas Blend, UbaVet... = all the same type of product = joint supplements = help with arthritis and pain caused by arthritis

    Dasuquin, Sashas Blend, UbaVet ... = brand names of particular joint supplement products

    Glucosamine = ingredient


    Either of these can be combined with the pain meds


    Zytram, Gabapentin ... = pain meds = will help with the post-op pain she is still in now

    Can be combined with any of the joint supplements above

  70. Haaa...got it...so i can put her on Glucosaime...and either Zytram or Gabapentin...are either of those 2 available at pet food stores...or do I have to get the fom the vet?

    I think we`re on the same page now...lol

  71. Yes.

    Glucosamine products are available in pet food stores.

    Zytram or Gabapentin are prescription meds.

  72. Can you get Traumeel at a pet food store or is that also from the vet?

  73. The Traumeel should be available in health or natural section of you drugstore.

    The important thing with the Traumeel would be figuring out the dose.

  74. Ok...well I just got back from the pharmacy...and the guy recommended the "glucosamine & Chondroitin with MSM" does that sound ok? It is a 1300 mg pill...but it only has 500 mg of Glucosamine (which is what the vet told us to give her), and 400mg of the other 2. I didn't get your post in time for me to look for the traumeel...should I talk to my vet about giving her that one? And also...is giving her the traumeel ok with giving her the glucosamine pills?

  75. Glucosamine & Chondrotoin with MSM sound good for arthritis supplement.

    Glucosamine has no contraindications pretty much with anything = it safe to use along with medications, other supplements etc.

    The Traumeel is quite safe also. It's a herbal anti-inflammatory formula.

    I would talk to the vet about it, just so he'd know what you're up to and to determine the dose (provided he knows the products, it's a holistic product). My vet knows it. But my vet knows everything :-)

    If your vet is not comfortable with the Traumeel, the pain meds I mentioned earlier worked well for Jasmine's post-op pain management.

  76. Quicke question (this actually scared me a bit) Xen was lying down (on her bad leg) she was lying there for about 10 minutes...she got up and lifted her leg up while she walked about 20 feet...then she seemed fine. Did Jasmine ever do stuff like that at 3 months post-op? It really scared me because Xena hasn`t lifted her leg to walk for about a month now...she seems to be walking fine now.

    Oh...and we started giving her the «glucosamine yesterday (big honking pills..lol) and we give her 1 day....«i am not sure she likes them...they are white and not sure if they taste good or not...but she eats them without me having to put them in cheese...lol

    I am getting a bit anxious about her vet appointment...I really want to know what he has to say. We have added 1 walk to her daily routine (so now she gets 3 10 minute walks) and she does fine with them (a little too fine..she is so excited, and pulls everywhere)..lol

  77. I seem to recall few times where Jasmine would favor her leg more than otherwise. I don't think she would lift the leg completely or that it would take 20 feet to resolve ... Not three months since operation. Couple times when she over did her fun she would be favoring the leg more for one night though.

    Did you put Xena on anything for the pain management?

    Glucosamine is a form of sugar sort of thing, tastes fine. The liquid UbaVet taste like candy. The chews we had tasted kind of like soup cubes. (yeah, I taste everything before I give it to Jasmine) :-)

    MSM on the other hand tastes awful :-) But I imagine there are very low amounts of it, only very little is needed.

    The pills taste fairly ok, they usually flavor them - are they chewables or regular pills?

    The vet appointment is a good thing. One way or another, denial never helped anybody. Plus you might leave with some great news.

  78. PS: sometimes people read to much into things = when Jasmine hurt her muscle, it looked a lot like that too = I was freaking out, but the knee was fine, it was a groin muscle.

    Your vet should give you best idea what is going on. At least our vet can tell things just by feeling the legs etc.

  79. Well it`s been almost an hour since the leg lifting...and she has been walking fine...so i don`t know...maybe I am paranoid...or maybe her leg was asleep (as she tried to walk away kind of fast)The Glucosamine we got her were pills (looked like oversized aspirin) and i don`t think she is thrilled to eat them...but my husband teases her by pretending to eat them and then she gobbles them down.
    I haven`t put her on anything for pain management yet...I am kind of leaning towards one of the brands that you mentioned that I can get from the vet...and she really doesn`t seem to be in that much pain (although I really have noo idea what she would like like if she was in pain) Do you think I should call the vet and see if I can get her a prescription for the pain now,or is it ok to wait until Saturday? I can`t remember...is that Traumeel that you talked about for pain? Our vet is over 30 minutes away...so it is very hard to get too just out of the blue...so anything I can do without having to go there would be great

  80. Traumeel is the herbal anti-inflammatory formula. Zytram and Gabapentin are pain meds.

    I can't really tell you what you should do, but you mentioned yourself that increased pain was apparent after running out of the Rimadyl.

    Post-op pain management not only keeps the dog more comfortable, but also to allows proper use the leg = better fitness = better muscles = better stability.

    If he knows and likes the Traumeel idea, he can just tell you how much to give and you can get it in a drugstore.

    Not sure whether either Zytram or Gabapentin can be scribed to a local pharmacy, I imagine Gabapentin might be.

  81. Well I called my vet last night and asked him about traumeel..he hasn't really heard of it so he is going to check around and let us know what his thoughts are this morning. I also asked him about Zytram & Gabapentin...and he is going to see which one would be better for Xena and call it into my pharmacy today....Xena needs to be on something...I know she is on the Glucosamine...but that doesn't take effect for a month or so..so right now it is like she is on nothing and it is really showing. I know you said that the Zytram & Gabapentin are pain killers...so if my vet doesn't like the Traumeel...I should probably put her on some sort of anti-inflamatory right? Does she have to stay on anti-inflamatory's forever (like the pain meds) or is it only until her legs is normal?

    Are any of the other things that you have mentioned (Sasha's Blend etc.) good for inflamation?

    Saturday can't come fast enough for me...I am very anxious to what the vet is going to say. Sometimes Xena looks and walks 100% and other times it's as if she is at 7 weeks post op again. I am guessing it is because she is not on anything for her arthritis...but I really want confirmation on how she is doing..lol

  82. Ok...got an update from my vet....I am going to try the Traumeel...however he said that it might or might not work (it depends on the dog) and as far as the pain meds that you had mentioned...he told me that they work less than the Rimadyl does and that it's not for long term use....but then again..since we have her on Glucosamine....we are not looking for something long term...we are looking for something to relieve her pain until the Glucosamine kicks in...right? So I am hoping that the Traumeel...since it is an anti-inflamatory....will also help with her pain from her arthritis. Although he wasn't sure how much to give her..so now I am worried about giving her too much. (honestly...my vet doesn't seem to know alot about anything...lol) How much do you think we shoud give her (she is about 85 lbs) Do you think I can find something on the internet about it?

  83. The pain meds are for post-op pain management = once the knee has healed, there shouldn't be need for them any longer.

    Depending on the degree of arthritis the glucosamine supplement might be sufficient (was sufficient for our old male Rotty). Plus there are other ways to manage arthritis, such as physiotherapy, acupuncture ... plus they are much healthier for you dog than drugs.

    The Traumeel is rather safe, if in doubt, I'd go with dose recommended for humans, re-calculated for weight of your dog. Says adults 12 years and older 1 tablet 3 times a day. Not sure how much a 12year old kid weights?

    The pain meds mentioned worked for Jasmine, she was never on NSAIDs for either of her post-ops.

  84. Well I got the Traumeel..(although you have no idea how hard it was for me....I had to go to a health food store) In your opinion...should we give her some pain meds to go along with the Traumeel? I know the Traumeel would take the inflamation away (thus some of the pain) but do you think it is a good idea for the time being to put her on one of the meds you mentioned? Which one is better?

  85. Being exposed to a health food store is a good thing ;-) Our pharmacy has a section where they have it. Depends on the size of the pharmacy I guess.

    I think that if you try too many things at one you won't know which one is working. I would start with the Traumeel and see if it helps. It seems successful in most dogs.

    Here is what our TCVM said about it:
    "Traumeel can be very effective for inflammation due to muscle or joint pain and injury.

    I use it frequently."

    I would try her on that and watch for results. She's been without pain management for a few days now. If no effect apparent, then go from there.

  86. My pharmacy had the ointment kind...but that was it (they didn't even know that pills existed) and I know the ointment wouldn't have worked, so I had to try somewhere else....I have been reading the "insert" and it's kind of scary if she is allergic to anything in there...but as far as I know, she is not allergic to anything...At Christmas time 2 years ago...she ate 2 boxes of xhoxolate (and I mean every single piece) I nearly cried (knowing what they say chocolate does to dogs) but she was fine...didn't get sick or sleepy or anything. She has a cast Iron Stomache...lol

    I really hope these work to make her feel a bit better and walk without a noticable "limp"

    I have a question about the Glucosamine that we are giving her. Because we got it in the afternoon...we started giving it to her right after work...we are supposed to give her 1 a day...would it be better do you think for me to give her the pill every morning instead of every night, or does it matter?

  87. Any substance can trigger an allergic reaction, including the NSAIDs etc. Did you read the insert on Rimadyl? Much scarier stuff.

    If you're worried, you can try a skin test to remain on the safe side:
    Crush tablet, apply powder to tape and place against skin. Should only need 1/2 hr contact to confirm or deny reaction. Make sure that the tape is not a source of the reaction. Band aid maybe?

    Neither of our three vets was worried about Jasmine having a reaction, and she does have a problem with allergies. Just I was worried :-)

    Wow, you were very lucky with the chocolate incident! Chocolate toxicity is not an allergic reaction though, it's something else. Do keep the chocolate out of reach though.

    I don't see how it would make a difference whether you give the Glucosamine in the morning or in the evening. It's a nutrient supplement that works over extended period of time.

  88. I will definately try the skin test first (I am paranoid too) Now it says on the insert to melt it in your mouth (which she wouldn't do) or melt it in a tablespoon of water....can I melt it in more than a table spoon (like a small bowl) and make sure she drinks it all? or should I use the table spoon and try to get that in her mouth?

  89. How about melting and mixing it in some yummy canned food?

  90. Well I tested it on her skin (she has 3 medium size spots on her thigh (where they shaved her) that no hair has grown back yet (looks kind of funy actually) so I crushed up a pill..used a bit of water to make it stick to a bandaid and put it on her skin. Waited about an hour (had another problem (my daughters hamster died) then I took it off and it looked fine. We had no wet dog food...so I melted it and stired it into a tiny bit of peanute butter (not good for her, I know...but will get wet dog food tomorrow) So i guess we will see how this goes. I bought 2 boxes so that should last about a month.

    On another topic...would there be a reason that her hair is not growing back in those 3 spots?

  91. Good news on the skin test. Let me know how it goes.

    Peanut butter isn't bad in small amounts, a lot of people use it for treats etc.

    Yeah, curious about the bald spots, you mean that the shaved area (which I imagine was most of the leg) has grown in except those three spots?

    That is kind of odd. It could be that there was some razor-burn in those areas, but bring it up to your vet also and have him check it out.

  92. Her whole leg was shaved (from half of her bum to her ankle) and her hair has grown back (not as long as the rest of her yet...but it`s getting there) except for 3 spots...and they have absolutely no hair at all (not even peach fuzz)it obviously doesn`t bother her (by the way..her skin in those 3 areas are kind of purple) I never noticed the color before..but now that the rest of her hair is growing back nicely..I notice the color more. I am definately going to ask my vet about it on Saturday.

    Now about the Traumeel...is this suppose to work with the pain right away? or is it like the Glucosamine, and will work after a few pills?

  93. The Traumeel should start working relatively fast.

    Strange about the spots, definitely have them checked out.

  94. My husband just took Xena out for a pee...and it snowed last night so she was peeing on the snow...he said her pee was ocmpletely clear..(no yellow at all..just like water) does that happen with dogs sometimes? Could it be the stuff that she is on? I have never seen clear pee before

  95. Urine will have very little color if over-hydrated. Would that be the case?

    Same as with people--the more you'd drink, the lighter color your urine would be.

    Generally it's a dark urine and colors other then shades of yellow that need to be worried about. No color should be just indication of high intake of liquids.

    Does that add up?

  96. Letely...it seems as though she has been more thirsty and has drank bowls and bowls of water..so that would probably be it. I don`t know if anything that she has been on has given her "drymouth" (although maybe her tranquilizers that we still give her from time to time) But she definately drinks more than she did before her surgery...I am forever re-filling her bowl. Is it dangerous for her to be drinking so much water and getting over-hydrated? Should we limit her water intake?

  97. Excessive drinking on a regular basis is something to check into. Please make sure you tell your vet about that, could be a sign of a problem.

    It would however explain the clear urine.

    Yes, I think you should probably limit her water intake to some degree, and please definitely talk to your vet about this. Not a sign to dismiss. Maybe even call him about it.

    I imagine he'll need to run some blood tests to make sure what is causing this excessive thirst.

    The discoloration of the skin and bald patches
    could also be part of this.

    Not trying to scare you, but definitely bring this up to your vet and have him check it out.

  98. Hi Jana

    1 more day until the vet...i can't wait. He told us the last time we were there that we wouldn't need another xray...but I am secretly hoping for one...xrays show way more than just feeling around. I will let you know what he says as soon as I get home.

    Now I have a question. I have been looking on the net about Traumeel and dogs...and seeing what i am supposed to be giving her (the bottle says 1 tablet - 3 times a day for an adult) but on the sites that I have been looking at...when you give it to an adult dog...they are saying that I should be giving her 1-3 tablets 3 times a day (right now i am only giving her one and really don't see much of an improvement) do you think it is safe to start trying her on 2 - 3 times a day? and see what that does? She is a pretty big dog...so maybe that is why the internet sites have a different dosage for dogs than humans
    What do you think?

  99. I think it should be safe to try two. Traumeel works for many dogs, but not for all. If no improvement, you might need to consider one of the pain meds.

    Please definitely mention the drinking and the patches to your vet. Is she still being so thirsty?

  100. You know...i am not sure...yesterday, she hardly drank anything and her pee was normal. I find she drinks more when she is warm (she pants even in the middle of the winter..as for the patches...I will definately ask him about those..it seems weird that most of her hair has grown back nicely...but she has no hair in those spots.
    I will try 2 of the Traumeel and see how that does. Maybe she is one dog who it does nothing for...or maybe it was doing nothing because I wasn't giving her enough...I guess we will see what 2 does.

  101. You said she was drinking more since the surgery. To me that is something to worry about, particularly in combination with the skin/coat/discoloration issue. Mention it anyway and describe as well as you can.

  102. Don`t worry...I will tell him everything that is going on ...and Xena is going to be there...so he will be able to physically see her "no hair and color"...and I will mention the drinking. Will let you know tomorrow after her appointment...keep your fingers crossed for us that we hear good news

  103. Hi Jana

    We just got back...lol And the news is......WE PASSED!!!! The vet said that her leg is doing just fine and she is walking around on it like she should be...all the other things that I have been worried about (toe touching, favoring it) he says are normal...and she will probably favor it a little bit for the rest of her life...we are now allowed to take her for more frequent and longer walks...give her toys back (thank goodness)go up and down stairs (although I am still too afraid to do that) And he says in 3 more weeks, we can let her outside without a leash...I am so relieved..I prepared myself for really bad news (my husband thinks I was lookiing for things that weren`t there...lol)

    Now..for the bald spots, discoloration, drinking etc. The bald spots is a fluke thing..he says it happens in some dogs where the hair just doesn`t grow back...the color of her skin is normal...her drinking he was a bit concerned about...but he says that her liver levels might be a little high (from the Ridamyl) and that could cause the thirst...he wants us to monitor that..Now that she is off the ridamyl...it should get better. However...he did mention something that could also cause that (along with loss of hair, weight gain, etc.) it is called Coushing (sp) desease..have her heard of that? so we have to monitor how much she drinks (she should be drinking 2 litres a day)

    I told him the meds I have her on (glucoasime & Traumeel - which he has never heard of) and he told us to give her 3 glucosamine a day (I was only giving her 1) and he didn`t feel as though she needed anything else.

    So all in all...it was a very good visit, and I am very happy.

    I want to thank you so much for all your help and your opinions and suggestions..I think I would have gone crazy without them

    So have her heard of coushings desease? The vet said there is medication for it...but we`re not at that point yet..he wants us to monitor her drinking first

  104. Dear Julie

    That is a great news! It is normal to worry, I did :-) I believe it is better to worry a bit more that is needed than not enough.

    I share your sentiment about the stairs. I would hold off a bit until she regains enough strength and agility. Doing the figure eights and other exercises from the sheet would help that. Plus the foam mat. Plus introducing walking in a bit of a terrain (up and down smaller hills, on a hill sideways each way ...)

    All that will help her build up her muscles, strength and agility. Take it slow, only as much as she can handle.

    Yes, affects from the Rimadyl could cause increased thirst. NSAIDs don't do the body any favors.

    Yes, I know what Cushing's is. It is not a diagnosis you want. But with most of these things the earlier it is caught it better.

    I have an article explaining what Cushing's is:
    Medical Jargon Explained: Hypo- versus Hyperadrenocorticism

    And you also inspired my to write an article on excessive drinking
    Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Drinking

    Not many vets might know the Traumeel, as I said is more in the domain of holistic vets.

  105. How are things regarding the drinking? Is she staying within the recommended amount or is she more thirsty than that?

  106. Hi Jana

    The drinking seems to be fine...she drinks more whe she is outside (it is quite warm here) but during the week (when she is in her cage for mostof the day) she only drinks 1 or maybe 2 bowls a day...which is below what she is supposed to drink....she definately likes the more freedome we are giving her...for the first time today...we let her out without the leash ( but she didn`t have far to run and we wee there) and she spent most of it...just lying on the grass...it is almost as if she is 10 years older...lol We take her for 3 15 minute walks...and by the end of the day...she is tired and we can tell she is a bit sore...but I guess we have to get used to that...

    Sheis doing well...but I am still so paranoid...in your opinion....how long should we keep her non active? I am afraid to let her do anything

  107. Dear Julie

    Good news about the drinking! Drinking more when exercising or hot is normal.

    It also does take some time to build up some strength and stamina. Did you measure the circumference some time recently? It will tell you how is the operated leg catching up.

    Hot weather combined with a long time of minimal activity would take its toll.

    The soreness should eventually go away, but it does take time.

    Define non-active? Gradual increase in length and level of exercise carefully until 6 months post op is normal. It is better to take i a bit slower and allow things to heal. Plus getting a vet's assessment of the progress.

    Will you even stop worrying? I doubt it, I didn't. But gradually she should get to do a bit more, and after the six months should be almost back to normal with caution.

  108. What I mean about non-active...is if she is outside and starts to run..we stop her...if she is inside playing with her toys we don`t want to throw them too far so that she has to run and catch it...she has a habbit of standing on her two back legs (if we`re on the couch) and wanting us too pet her belly...I am afraid of letting her do that too...lol

    I watch her walk and she seems to walk normally...but when she is just standing there...you can tell that she is not putting her full weight on her leg and she still taps her foot (which I know you said Jasmine did for awhile) I just don`t like seeing it. How long did it take for Jasmine to stop doing that and to put her full weight on her leg?

    We measured her circumfrence yesterday actually...and the differance is 2" (I think before it was 3")so she is getting there...it helps that the weather is nice now...she acts like a puppy when we take her for a walk.

  109. Yes, running and jumping is best to avoid until the 6 months after surgery. You mentioned you have a warm weather, walking in water or swimming is very beneficial. You might want to make sure you start safely = nowhere deep.

    Standing with front on the couch might actually be fine at this point, too bad your vet is not guiding you through the rehab properly. But if you read the sheet, one of the functional strength exercises i 'dancing' = walking on rear legs only. You might want to confirm with your vet where in the rehab you should be.

    Good news on the circumference, yes, it was 3" last time.

  110. One thing bad about Xena and water...is that she doesn`t like water (I am quite surprised too) We could never get her to go swimming or even walk around in a kiddie pool in the summer...she hates it.

    I am glad to know that standing infront of the couch is ok...our vet basically told us that in 2 weeks, she could get back to normal...but I don`t think she is ready yet.

    I asked you this but you didn`t answer...how long did Jasmine stand and kind of tap her bad leg on the ground? I also find that when she goes to sit down..she lifts her bad leg a bit and then sits on it (she has never sat straigh upright...always on her hip) I always thought that was the lazy way for a dog to sit.

    She is doing really well...the only concern I really have is the standing and the tapping of her leg

  111. Oh, I see. That is too bad about the water. The best form of exercise both for rehab and arthritis.

    Why don't you just follow the rehab sheet then. Did you try the foam pad?

    If I remember correctly, Jasmine stopped the tapping by third month. But she also had the stem cells injected into both knees with the surgeries, so that would have made a big difference. If your vet feels it's normal, perhaps it is. I do believe that it should go away eventually though.

    Jasmine sits in this funny way also, ever since I remember, unless it's a sit for a treat. She had surgery on both knees but still keep sitting this way. Makes me think it might not have anything to do with the knees.

  112. Do you think that the leg tapping might have to do with the loss of muscle in her leg? It was raining a few days ago..so when I brought her in..she had to be dried off...I lifted one leg after another..when I got to the good leg...I lifted it slightly..but noticed that her other leg was kind of wobbly...so maybe the leg tapping is because her muscle isn`t able to hold her up yet? I don`t know...what do you think?

    The vet seemed to think that because she was walking fine...it didn`t matter that she was leg tapping a bit at this point....but as you can probably guess...I wasn`t too fond of my vet...he didn`t seem to know a whole lot.

    I have followed the rehab sheet...haven`t gotten a foam pad though..and when I walk her...it`s as if she never had anything done to her knee...it is just when she is quiet and eating or drinking

  113. I think that the fact that the circumference is gradually getting closer to the good leg is a good sign and it means that she's is slowly using the leg the way she should etc. That is an objective measure.

    So at this point, I would not worry about the tapping. The leg clearly is weaker, the measurement is showing that. It is also showing that it is getting better. So keep an eye on it, I believe it should sort itself out.

    The foam is really a great addition to the rehab exercise.

  114. Dear Julie.

    How is Xena doing? Btw, would you be interested in sharing your story with my readers. Your experience would be valuable to people who are going through the things you did.

  115. It is so funny...I was just about to write you...an here I have a message from you. If my story would help your readers...then yes...please share it.

    I am writing to tell you how Xena is doing and to ask you a question. She seems to be doing ok..she loves her walks...she loves being outside...she still kind of walks awkward, but she doesn`t seem to mind...We finished the Traumeel last week and we just had her on the Glucosamine...I find that she seems to be more protective of her leg now....so i am wondering if her being off the traumeel has anything to do with it (I am also thinking that maybe her suture finally broke and she is working just on her skar tissue) I am not sure if having her just on the glucosamine is working...so i bought some more Traumeel today...they say that the suture can break anywhere between 3 & 12 months...I am just worried that if the suture broke...there isn`t enough skar tissue...she still lifts her leg if she lies on it too long...and she still "leg taps" but when she is active...it`s as if nothing is wrong. Do you think I should keep her on the Traumeel for life...just like the Glucosamine?

    And please...share my story with others....because I know the stress we went through...and anything I can do to help...I would like that

  116. Dear Julie

    It is funny, when I'm thinking of you, you write and vice versa :-)

    When is your next vet appointment? You are now at fourth month, right? What makes you think that the suture broke other than the favoring of the leg = any trauma you're aware of?

    Otherwise, I imagine it might take more time for everything to go back to normal. Was faster than normal with Jasmine, because of her stem cell treatment. I would be overly worried about some favoring after the rest yet.

    The scar tissue should eventually be strong enough to stabilize the joint alone. Whether it is at that stage, I cannot tell long distance, but your vet should be able to.

    I suggested the Traumeel for her post op pain management. Once the leg is healed, there should be no need for it. But if you feel that is still helping at this stage, I would stay with it for a bit longer.

    The glucosamine on the other hand is to help with arthritis, which is a different issue.

    For more effective long term management I would suggest cold laser treatment or acupuncture. Quite affordable, safe and can be very effective.

    I'd love to share your story, but I have only bits and pieces. If you could however write out for me what you've been through from the beginning - how it happened, how and when it got diagnosed, your experience with the vet ...
    That be a great help for others to learn from


  117. We don`t have another vet appointment...the last time we saw our vet...he saw the way she walked and said there was no need for another appointment..but i am thinking of visiting the vet anyway, just to make sure. I have no idea if the suture hads broken or not...it might be a coincidence that after the traumeel finished, that she seemed to favor her leg more. Yesterday...she was lying on her bad leg for about 2 hours..and she got up to be let out, and she lifted her leg for about 10 seconds...I am hoping it`s because she was lying on it and it might have been a bit sore.¸

    As for telling my story...how should I do it? On here as I have been doing? Or is there an email I can tell you my story and you can take that, along with everything I have said on here and make a story out of it.

    I think I will keep her on the traumeel a bit longer (yes she is at 4 months) but because she is a bit slower than she should be...maybe she is still in a bit of pain

  118. I wouldn't find some favoring after lying on it for 2 hours too strange at this point in the game. But I think that until the 6 months period is over the vet should see her at least once some time soon and once at the end of the 6 months.

    The reduced pain management could well influence things, Jasmine also was on pain management for quite some time. I would probably keep her on the Traumeel of another month or so.

    Yes, you can email me to grade3699@rogers.com.
    Can you give me your email also so I put it on friend's list to make sure it doesn't get eaten up by spam filter?

  119. my email address is julroach@shaw.ca

    It might take me a bit to get it all written down (and for me to remember everything..lol) but i will get it done...

  120. Dear Julie

    Great, looking forward to hearing from you!


  121. Story is sent...I am not very good at writing things like that...so please take what you need to write your story..hope I helped a bit with it


  122. Dear Julie

    Awesome, thank you!

    To clarify, earlier in the messages you said extracapsular repair was the only option offered to you (which I did find strange) so it was the finance decision then?

    Love the pictures.
    How is she doing?

  123. Never mind, you said how she was doing at the end. 12 weeks isn't that long yet. As long as the knee is stable things should work out.

  124. I kind of condradicted myself didn`t I? When my husband was helping me write this story..he told me that when we first went to the vet..he did give us 2 options..but he didn`t call it TPLO..the way he explained it was by "fishing Lines" and a "plate"...at the time he said that there was really no differance between the 2..except for the price (which is why we opted for the cheaper one) Later on when we were having all that difficulty..that is when he mentioned that the TPLO was better (the plates) but obviously it was too late by then. I do appologize for forgetting that part..my husband helped me remember alot. I guess if I had known exactly was TPLO and extracupsular was at the time..and the differance between the two...we still would have chosen the surgery we did...and yes...it would have been because of the lack of funds.

    I hope that clarified it a bit more for you and you are able to work with what I gave you

  125. Oh, and I would really like to read it when you are done with it...so please give me the link to where I can find it when it si finished

  126. Dear Julie

    Yes, you did [kind of contradicted yourself] :-) And here I was so angry at your vet all this time ... ;-)

    Anyway, glad we got it straight.

    We chose the extracapsular repair also, even though we researched all the options thoroughly and price was not a deciding factor (since with the stem cells it came to pretty much the same price)

    As long as the knee is stable enough until scar tissue strong, everything should work out fine.

    Of course I will give you a link for the article, will probably be posting tomorrow.


  127. Well she seems to be doing pretty good right now except for the occational stiffness after sleeping on it for awhile...so fingers crossed that she is going to be ok...she's not perfect...but she's definately better than she was right before her surgery. I do wish her hair would grow back in those place though...I will try and take a picture and send it to you...I am sure she doesn't care...but it must be awfully cold in those spots in the winter.

    Will be looking forward to seeing your post.

  128. Well, it's been only three months; there is a reason why the rehab is estimated to six.

    Strange about the fur. What did the vet say exactly?

  129. The vet said that sometimes it happens...where the fur doesn`t grow back...it is rare...but it does happen...he really didn`t give a reason for it...just that it sometimes happens. I have a couple of pictures of it that my husband took today...I will send them to your email address...

  130. Wow, those are rather big areas with no protection from cold or bugs ...

    Never heard of this, which doesn't mean that couldn't happen. I wonder if a bit of melatonin supplementation could help, why don't you ask him.

    I can't see how would the skin get damaged during the shaving so the fur wouldn't grow back at all. Jasmine did have a bit of a razor burn, but the hair did grow in eventually.

  131. What does "Melatonin" do? If it will help...I will do it. Our vet said that it should be nothing we should worry about...that it does happen sometimes...but if I can fix it..I want too

  132. Melatonin helped Jasmine with her mysterious baldish patches. Not like this, but strange also. Grew in quickly after melatonin started.

    Not saying it will help, but something to think about. Melatonin is rather safe, so not much harm in trying.

  133. I looked it up on the net..and it seems to me that Melatonin is a tranquilizer (http://www.dogspetsmeds.com/dog-meds/melatonin-and-dog-and-dosage.html) it doesn`t say anything about hair loss

  134. Well, kind of, not really. It's a natural hormone. Deficiency in the hormone can cause seasonal alopecia and like.

    Not saying that it will help, but perhaps it could.

  135. Dear Julie

    Your story is up ACL Injuries In Dogs: Xena's Story

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and please keep me updated.

    I believe it is quite normal for her to be sore and tired after her walks at this point. Also the long time of restricted exercise does decrease stamina. Jasmine got tired easily for quite some time, before things got all the way to normal. She was on restricted exercise for 10 months and it surely showed.

    Glad to hear that the PROMs don't bother her any more. Did you try the foam pad yet?

    Do not lose hope. As long as the stability of the joint wasn't compromised in a major way--which it should with only a minor stretch to the suture, such set-back should be just that - a set-back.

    It is a long process and it seems there is no end to it. I was so tired of seeing Jasmine limp. But then one day it was gone.

    Let's remain hopeful and see how things go.


  136. The story was terrific Jana...thanks so much. I will definately keep you posted on how she is doing...it is nice and warm here, so she is itching to always be outside..I am a little worried because she can act very dumb with other animals and shadows...lol but we are restricting what she is allowed to do. I am waiting for the day that we don`t have to worry anymore. I hope some people learn from our experience and that their pets do well. I can`t imagine my life without Xena...and she is slowly turning back into the lovable (yet crazy) best friend of mine

  137. Dear Julie

    Glad you enjoyed the story, Xena is famous now :-) I'm sure there will be people out there whom your story will help and that's what my blog is all about = helping dogs and their people.

    I figure she still only gets leashed walks, right? Probably safer. Introducing small hills and other things from the sheet yet?

    You should be able to worry much less after the full post-op and theoretically all together after the 18 months. But we haven't stopped worrying and doubt we ever will ;-)

    Thank you for sharing your story and keep me updated!


  138. Hi Jana

    I have a quick question for you...I would like to give Xena a bath (she feels so grimy) but I am afraid too....I have to get her in and out of the bathtub...and then usually after we give her a bath...she gets really hyper...do you think it is safe for me to give her a bath at this point? Or should I wait awhile?

  139. Dear Julie

    Good question. I do think that there is more danger in this than potential benefit at this stage. Getting in and out of the tub plus what happens after, plus wet feet - more chance to slip ...

    We didn't risk it with Jasmine and I wouldn't risk it with Xena either.

    Instead, I would try washing her with something like this: http://naturalchemistry.com/pet-products/products/show/55

    Waterless no-rinse bath enzyme product.

  140. Thanks Jana...that`s what I thought...she feels so dirty...but I guess it`s better to be dirty than to take the chance of hurting herself...Oh...and I ran out of Traumeel tonight...should i get more or wait to see how she does on just the glucosamine?

  141. Why don't you try the product I suggested above or something like that which they hopefully should have in your dog health-food store or some place. It should help.

    They do have some other 'regular' non-bath bath products, but I like the enzyme ones.

    Traumeel = well, this long adter surgery you could probably wait and see whether it's still needed.

  142. Hi jana

    I am going to be sending you 2 videos to your email address in a couple of hours....1 is with Xena walking, and the other is with Xena standing still..I could be just paranoid...but when she is just standing still..she is doing more of the leg tapping and just touching her toes to the ground..but when she walks, it's as if nothing is wrong with her. She hasn't done anything that she isn't supposed too...but maybe oyu can take a look and see.

  143. Hopefully it will email, videos are quite large. You might want to try www.yousendit.com instead

    What you're describing, do you mean it got worse than before or just didn't get better?

  144. In my opinion....both...when she walks, she is definately better than she was...she looks as though nothing was done to her leg...but when she is standing there...so seems to be doing a bit more leg tapping and instead of putting half her weight on her leg (which she was doing before)..she sometimes (not all the time) just touches her toes. I do the proms with her and it doesn't seem to hurt her (and as I said...she walks just fine) maybe I am just paranoid...and I am waiting for the day where I won't be able to tell...so maybe I am just trying to find something that is not there...but when I get home from work..I will try and catch her doing it and send it to you...if the email doesn't work...I will try the site you mentioned

  145. It might well be that you're reading too much into it. One sure gets sick and tired of seeing their dog lame, I surely did.

    I'll see when I get the video.

  146. Videos are being sent...let me know if you don`t hget them...and if you do get them...let me know what you think

  147. Got the videos. Is this after stopping the Traumeel?

    Seems to me like the knee is still painful, but reliable/stable (stable is the important part at this time).

    The gait looks quite well. How does it look when walking slowly?

    Did you measure the circumference recently?

    To me it looks like pain not instability of the joint. Jasmine was still on pain management at three months. She wasn't favoring the leg to this degree, but was on pain meds and had the stem cells.

    I'd think that this is what it would look like without the stem cells and pain management too. Seems she prefers not to put weight on it when doesn't need to, to me means painful. This type of thing does take a long time to completely heal.

    Why not send these to her vet also just to be sure.

  148. It actually started a bit before she stopped the Traumeel...and yes we did measure her circumfrance..and there is only an inch differance right now...as I said...when she is walking slowly or faster..she seems to be fine...but when she is standing there..it seems like she is leg tapping more than she did a couple of weeks ago...right now she is taking 3 glucosamine pills a day...do you think I should put her on the truameel again? I know that havong her on both is not bad for her...so maybe I should just have her on both for long term?

  149. I hear you. It does look like pain to me, not instability. It could be that she started tapping more with the increased exercise. Even after several months Jasmine would do that after a longer exercise or after a steeper hill etc ...

    I think it wouldn't hurt sending the video to your vet also.

    If you feel the Traumeel was working I'd go back on it. If you have a dog acupuncturist in your area, acupuncture helps greatly with arthritis and could maybe help with the pain also. Either acupuncture or cold laser. These are not overly expensive at all and no down side.

  150. I was wondering if there was any other "pain" meds that I could give her other tan the Traumeel...I am really not sure if it was doing anything with her (as I said...she starting leg tapping while she was still on it) I was giving her 2 tablets, 3 times a day...and I find it very hard to find. If there isn't any other pain med that you can think of...maybe I should ask the vet for some? I am glad to know that your opinion on the video that I sent you...was pain related and not a problem with her instability....so now I have to concentrate on the pain

  151. Dear Julie

    Either Zytram or Gabapentin should work. Needs prescription by your vet.

    He should be also able to give you more accurate assessment of the situation, as he can thoroughly examine the knee.

    But yes, to me it looks like pain rather than stability issue. Of course your vet seeing Xena personally and being able to physically examine her should be able to tell more definitely.

  152. Hi Jana..

    Thought I would give you an update..and might be wrong to post this...but I am beginning to really not like my vet...lol I talked to him last week and asked him about pain meds and if he thought I should come in and see him. He didn`t want to prescribe me anything for the pain (basically he said that it`s with animals or people...their bound to have some discomfort even years after a surgery - he used his own personal experience) anyway...so he told us to give her aspirin (asa) and only do it when she is doing alot of movement (like on the weekends) or when it appears that she is in a little bit of pain. He also said that he didn`t need to see her again because the last time she was there (and all he did was watch her walk) she seemed healed enough not to warrant another visit.

    So I got the aspirin..and I think in the week after getting it, I have given it to her 3 times. She is still not putting alot of weight on her leg (but she can really use it when she wants too) and I haven`t gone to see the vet. The problem I have is...there are only 2 vets in the city that have anything to do with this type of thing...the other one is 2 hours away. I can take her to my regular vet...but he will just tell me to take her back to the specialtist. I wish I had your vet...lol

    Anyway...that is where we`re at right now...Oh, he also said that any meds that we give her (even the ones you mentioned) are bad for the liver...which is why he wanted us to put her on aspirin. I almost wish the Traumeel worked..but I really don`t think it did. I also read on the internet that the Glucosamine that I have her on, doesn`t work in all dogs (or people for that matter) so how do I know that it is working? I guess she`d be in more pain than she is?


  153. Dear Julie

    I would not recommend aspirin for use in dogs. It is a type of NSAIDs and human NSAIDs are not recommended for dogs, though some people do use that. I really wouldn't.

    I imagine that your regular vet should be able to assist you at least regarding the pain medication. Our vet's philosophy is that nobody should suffer pain if it can be helped. I would contact my regular vet and talk to him about it.

    I am also surprised that he doesn't want to see her any more ... I don't know how much expertise your regular vet has, but often they can assess these things also and provide advice about pain management.

    Yes, any drugs are hard on the liver, depending on the dose and length of use it is a good idea to consider SAMe supplement to aid the liver.

    Nothing works for every individual equally, but glucosamine is at least safe. Your regular vet should be able to assess the state the joint is in ...?

  154. Ok..I will call my regular vet tomorrow and see if I can get in to see him...I am really concerned. I know you said from the video that i sent you that it "looked" like pain and not instability...but sometimes, i just have to wonder...

  155. Listen, you do have a TCVM vet in Winnipeg:

    Linda Hamilton, DVM
    Specialty: Small Animal
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 0G7, CANADA
    Phone: (204)487-7738
    Fax: (204)489-7623

  156. Unfortunately all I can tell you is what it looks like to me. But your regular vet should be able to make more accurate assessment upon physical examination. If you know him and trust him, please definitely go see him.

  157. Wow, you are good...I couldn`t find her...now it says that she specialises in small animals...I guess she would know something about large animals. I am going to call my regular vet today and make an appointment to get an X-Ray done...I want to know if those sutures have broken yet (they say anywhere from 2 - 12 months) I am hoping they are still there because that gives her more time for the scar tissue to build up more. But if they are broken..I want to know if the scar tissue she has is good. Just like in the video..I look at her walk...and she kind of waddles, but she is not limping or lifting her leg...and when she runs a little (which we still try to prevent) she looks fine. It is just when she is standing still...that she seems to favor it. I am hoping it is just a pain thing (not that I like her in pain) but trying to deal with the pain is much better than having something else wrong.

    Will keep you posted

  158. Dear Julie

    Great. I am quite surprise that the surgeon isn't showing more interest/concern.

    I'm thinking your regular vet should be able to help out.

    Small animal actually means dogs. Large animals - horses etc.

  159. Hi Jana

    Long time no talk...thought I would give you an update...we had a pretty good scare yesterday...since Friday, Xena seemed to be limping quite a bit, and doing alot more toe touching than she had been (that part had actually gotten quite better) and then last night, she got up from lying down...and she walked for about 30 seconds on 3 legs (I freaked) So into the vet we went (the one who did her operation)there were so many things we were worried about...we thought her scar tissue might have gotten damaged somehow, or the lines broke too soon..we didn't know what was going on (we haven't been doing anything differently)

    Anyway..after a check up and sedation and X-Rays..we found out that her knee is very stable (no give at all - which is good) PLUS the lines are still there..they haven't broke. Somehow, she managed to pull a muscle (I thought of Jasmine when he said that)so he put her on 2 weeks of complete rest (uggg) and some Ridamyl (ya, I know...but it's only for 5 days)

    Right now she is sleeping on the floor still drugged from the sedation...but I thought you might like to know that according to the X-Rays and the (poke and prod test) her knee is in very stable condition. She has some soft tissue around her knee (more scar tissue building up) and our vet told us that even if she limps or sometimes favors one leg from the other...it is completely normal..and will probably be that way forever.

    Big sigh of relief right now...

  160. Dear Julie

    Oh no, exactly the same scare we had. I was freaking out too!

    Great news on the knee stability, that is the main thing right now. I am very glad to hear that.

    Sorry to hear about that pulled muscle, I know you're tired of seeing Xena limping. I was! But fortunately pulled muscle isn't the end of the world.

    Jasmine's resolved with acupuncture, cold laser and hydrotherapy.

    But as long as the knee is stable, everything else will work out.

    Not sure whether favoring the leg should be normal - hard to tell on Jasmine since she had both legs operated on - but there isn't any indication that the legs are not working the way they should.

    Anyway, glad it's nothing worse than a muscle injury. Keep me posted!


  161. Hi Julie!

    How is Xena doing? Muscle healed?

  162. Hi Jana

    Xena is doing ok...muscle seems healed..although she seems really sore during the night time and starts to limp a bit. I am have her take 4 Glucosaime pills a day now...and really am not sure if it is helping with her arthritis or not....but she doesn`t lift her leg anymore...and she still likes to think she can run and jump...but I think she feels it if she does that. The vet suggested not to take her to any dog parks this year...and he didn`t want me to take her for any walks because of her muscle. I have to call him and ask if I can start taking her for walks again...the problem is...she is not trained very well for them (I have tried) but at the beginning of walks...she takes the leash in her mouth and basically pulls me and acts really dumb..lol I am afraid that it might hurt her leg more.

    But for the most part...she is doing really well. I only find in the night time that she seems to slow down and seems more sore.

    I am still quite worried about her other leg though. She still isn`t putting 100% on the bad leg..she walks on it fine..but when she runs...it is more like a gallop or a skip...and when she stands...we can tell that about 35% more weight is being put on her bad leg...but fingers are crossed

  163. This is a process that does take time. Did you measure the circumference recently? What does that say?

    Did you try getting in touch with the TCVM? I think acupuncture could be really helpful.

    I think some controlled exercise is important, did you try keeping her focus with treats or something like that?

  164. We mesured the circumfrance...and there is 1/4 " difference between one leg and another (which I would say is pretty good)

    I have tried treats with her walks...but she is so excited to be going for a walk..that she doesn't want to eat them..the whole walk isn't hard...it's just the beginning of it. She takes the leash in her mouth and pulls us to where she wants to go...after a few feet...she lets the leash go, and walks normally. It's those initial first steps that concern me though.

    As far as the acupuncture goes...we haven't called anyone, just for the plain reason that we have tapped out all of our finances just getting her leg fixed...so we need something that we can do ourselves to help.

    She is walking quite fine now..and we only notice that she gets sore and limps a bit when she has been lying on her leg for awhile (but the vet said that is the arthritis) so I am going to start taking her on short walks next week and see how she does from there.

    Oh...guess what? Remember those pictures I sent you with her hairless spots? Well those spots are nearly (not totally) covered with hair now. Her hair started growing in those spots a couple of weeks ago..it is going VERY slow..but she is getting her hair back finally...I am kind of curious as to why it took so long for those spots...

    Anyway...will keep you posted on how she is progressing once I start talking her for her walks again. But I do agree with the vet...I think the dog parks are out this year (she goes crazy at those things)


  165. Dear Julie

    Thank you for the update! Sounds like good news all around, love to hear those!

    Yes, 1/4" difference is quite good. Also glad to hear that the gait keeps improving. Also great news about the hair filling in! Everything seems to be on a good track! Not sure why it took so long, still thinking it could have been some razor burn type of skin damage which might have affected the hair growth.

    If you cannot do the acupuncture, maybe you could try to find out how to do acupressure, you could probably do that at home. This would need just one appointment to find out how and where to do that.

    I don't blame her for getting excited to go for a walk, our guys do also :-) I think that just pulling (not jumping) shouldn't do much damage at this point. Curbing her enthusiasm would be good, but I wouldn't worry about that too much.

    Did you try the figure eights, uphill/downhill walking etc.? Those exercise develop the muscles, which then protects the joint.

    I have a new article here on physical therapy
    Don't Forget the Physical Therapy

  166. Hi Julia. Long time no talk! How is Xena doing? I'm hoping she's fully recovered by now?

  167. Hey Jana...
    Xena is doing really well...it is almost as if she had nothing wrong with her. She still limps a bit if she does too much...but I think that is more the arthritis than anything...I still really haven`t taken her for a walk...she gets alot of excercise seeing as though it is summer and she is outside for most of the day...but I am still quite afraid of taking her for her normal walks. Something happening to her other leg is always at the back of my mind. She still doesn`t sit right...or even lie down right (she always lifts her bad leg and puts it underneath her when she goes to lie down) but when she is walking or running...she looks fine. I guess i will be paranoid forever...but for right now...it seems we have our old Xena back

  168. Hi Julia. So glad to hear that Xena is doing well!

    I think she is still quite young, in young dogs ACL tear is more likely to be a result of trauma, rather than gradual deterioration and the other knee is likely to be fine. It is particularly in older dogs where the ligaments gradually weaken and second knee is likely to follow.

    Why do you find that she'd be more likely to get injured on a walk than romping around the yard? Walking, particularly controlled walking is also a good rehabilitation exercise.

    How long ago did you have her vet to evaluate the knee? Yes, soreness after a long day could be from arthritis also.

    Part of the rehab exercises also was making sure the dog does sit the right way (that's why doing the exercise against a wall etc).

    Hard to judge without seeing it. She doesn't tap when sitting down though, right?

    I hear you about being paranoid forever ... we shall reach 18 months since the last surgery in September, so I wonder if we'll be able to make ourselves to relax and back off :-)


  169. I am not sure why I am paranoid about taking her for walks..I think it is because she acts so hyper when we first start out..jumping up and down and pulling (she takes the leash in her mouth and takes me for a walk for a minute or so)..but usually after that she is fine....I guess I should bite the bullet and try it.

    As i told you before...she doesn`t sit upright (she never has) she sits on her hip...she has always done that..when we try to train her to shake a paw or give a high five...she will sit right..but normally...she sits on her hip. She doesn`t tap her foot when she is sitting..she used too..but doesn`t anymore. I do find that she is careful when going to lie down though...as I said...she kind of lifts her leg at the same time she is lying down so that it goes underneath her...it is hard to explain.

    Honestly..I haven`t been to the vet since that last time when she started to lift her leg again and we had the Xrays done, just to find out that it was a pulled muscle. We haven`t felt the need too because she has been acting fine.

    It makes me feel better knowing that because she is a younger dog, we shouldn`t worry too much about her other leg...however..as you said...it will be mostly because of trauma...and after everything she has gone through...she is still very active, and acts very dumb sometimes (like chasing shadows)

    It has only been 7 months for us...so I am not going to relax quite yet...lol But things seem to be progressing very well

  170. She doesn't do any of these things when hanging out in the yard? Does she do that when you go for a walk around the house or when you arrive to a place in a car? (Jasmine gets wound when getting out of the car, but not when getting out of the door)

    Would keeping her attention with treats help to get over the initial excitement? Redirecting her? Why don't you try on attention exercises first then.

    I understand all about being paranoid though.

    re: sitting
    You mean kind of like a 'woman on horse' sit? Jasmine sits that way often also. If she does a proper sit during training, than she can and probably not to worry about.

    Can't really imagine the lying down, would need to see.

    Either way though, glad she doing great. We will probably remain paranoid for the rest of Jasmine's life also, but trying really hard to let her slowly start doing all the things such as running, jumping and playing with J.D.

    Stay in touch!


  171. Hi! Just wondering how Xena is doing. Hoping that she's great.

  172. Hi Jana

    Xena is doing pretty good. I think she is pretty much as good as she will ever get. She is still crazy and loves to jump and run...and her leg doesn't seem to bother her until later at night or if she has been lying on it for awhile..then she walks like she is a 20 year old dog..not 3..heee

    I am still worried about her other leg since I know she still doesn't put her full weight on her bad leg (I would say she puts 95% of weight on it)and I guess we will always worry about her other leg...but right now she seems happy and not in pain..which is the main thing.

    I still have her on the Glucosamine (4 per day) and whether it is helping or not, I have no clue..but she'll be on it forever.

    Other than that...I think everything is good...

    thanks for asking...and will definately keep you posted from time to time

  173. Glad she's enjoying her life! Yes, I can see that you'd be worried about the other one.

    How is the circumference comparison between the legs?

  174. I just measured them...and her good leg is 18" and her bad leg is 17"..I am guessing that they will never measure both exactly the same..but is an inch ok? or relatively normal?

    As I said...I can tell when she is standing that she is not putting 100% of weight on the leg..but when she runs or jumps she doesn't seem to favor it at all. And I don't know if she favors it exactly (except after a long day or lying on it too long) it just looks like that is the way she chooses to stand.

  175. Dear Julia. Difference in measurements (unless result of inaccurate measuring) does indicate that the leg isn't used equally with the other leg. Generally that is a sign of an issue - which you know about as you mentioned earlier.

    Doesn't take much for this, with Jasmine's muscle injury last fall, also seemingly favoring the leg only at home and yet added up to a difference of 2 inches which means rather substantial favoring. These things are not always easy to see. That's why the measurements to provide an objective means to judge the status.

    I would have your vet to check out the measurements and see what he thinks about it.

  176. Hi Jana....just wanted to keep you posted...Xena is doing fine...no limping and no lifting of her leg..they only time she seems to be in any sort od discomfort, is when she is lying down for a long period of time and she goes to get up...she seems very stiff for a few seconds. I can't wait until all this snow goes away though...even though we have towels all over the floor by the door that she comes in and out of...she always managed to find a spot to slip on...I cringe everytime


  177. Dear Julie

    Thank you so much for the update, I am so glad Xena is doing well!

    The stiffness might be from arthritis, so keep supplementing or see if you can add some therapy.

    We bought a cheap carpet to have by the door, it's cheap enough that it can be thrown away and replaced when needed, might be a good idea to prevent the slipping.

  178. We bought a couple of cheap carpets actually (and have towels every where)....the problem is...when she comes inside after being outside...there is the kitchen, and dining room that she has to go through before she reaches any kind of carpeted area...we thought that just having the carpet in the kitchen (we have a walkway covered to the dining room) would be enough...but she still seems to slide on the dining room floor too. Guess I should pick up some more. I just wish she would stop being so hyper...if she walked normally, she wouldn't slip so much....but she gets so hyper and starts to run...that is when she slips and slides.

    All in all though...she is doing great...I think I am going to try and take her for walks again when the weather gets nicer...and maybe even try the dog park this summer (but I'll see how the walks go first)


  179. Yes, walks are important.

    Yes, I'd put some carpet everywhere. Or I've seen that they have some non-slip foot-pad pads, might try those, don't know how long they'd stay on though, didn't try them.

  180. Hi Jana...well I have a question....it has been about 13 months since Xena had her surgery...and just 2 days ago...all of a sudden...she started limping really bad and lifting the SAME leg (looks totally like she did before her surgery) I was hoping that it was just a pulled muscle like it was before...but it's not getting much better yet...I heard that the scar tissue that was built up was stronger that the ligament that was there in the first place....is it possible for her to "tear" or "rupture" scar tissue? I have called my vet but he can't see me until next week...I can't really tell if Xena is in pain or not...she doesn't seem to care limping or walking or running around on 3 legs and still wants to play...I have tried looking on the internet about scar tissue being damaged, but can't really find anything...have you heard of anything like that? I am really scared because finances just aren't there...should I be worried?

  181. Dear Julie

    Yes, substantial damage of the scar tissue this long after surgery is not likely. Doesn't mean it couldn't happen but the odds of that happening are low.

    It is more likely that it is a different injury (muscle or tendon) or could even be irritation caused by the suture, that happens sometimes.

    You do need to see a vet to determine what is going on. If the suture was an issue than it would likely need to be removed with arthroscopy.

    "With dogs that end up with a lameness a year after surgery, the main reason is the suture irritating the muscle or rubbing on a nerve. This is usually corrected with a quick surgery to remove the suture. They are generally back to full function on the limb within 1-2 weeks after that implant is removed. "

    Jasmine got similar limp last year and it turned being injured "groin" muscle. It took a long time before it resolved.

    To the question whether she is in pain, yes. She is limping = she is in pain. I would consider massages, slow leash walks, and maybe you could try using Traumeel.

    Omega-3 also helps with inflammation and resulting pain (check for dosing, Jasmine is on 3000mg/day)

    That's about all I can tell you from here. You do need to see a vet, determine the cause and go from there.


  182. Thanks Jana...It does put my mind at ease knowing it is probably a pulled something or other...one thing that you said about the sutures though...we were told by the vet when Xena had the surgery that the sutures would eventually dissapear (leaving the scar tissue only) and by about month 6..they should be gone...so I am kind of confused when you say it could be the sutures that are irritating something.. I have been giving her a bit of aspirin...but not too much as I hate thinking it is bad for her (even though our vet said to give it to her) as I said..the vet can't get us in until next week...so i will make an appointment and go from there..it just makes me upset seeing her the way she was a year ago before we went through all of this...if anything..I would of though we would see this type of thing with her other leg.

  183. Dear Julie

    Unless your vet used something I don't know about (not saying couldn't be), normally the sutures tear sooner or later, however do not go away.

    The Traumeel might help and unlike aspirin it is completely safe, unless allergic reaction to it, which is not common.

    I know how upsetting it is, as I've been through exactly the same thing. If muscle or tendon injury it will resolve. The suture would need to be removed.

  184. Hi, I arent sure if these messages are still being read BUT i have a nearly 2yr old Mastiff x (46kg) Called Chudleigh :) She had her first extracapsular repair done in March 2011. She recovered well, i let her out for a run on the beach last week and it seems she has now done her other hind leg. She is scheduled for surgery tomorrow but at the cost of another $1500 I am wondering what the chances are of her original leg going again, or surgery not working. Then after that what her quality of life will be this time next year.. has anyone else faced this situation? As a single mum working hard - money is an issue but at the same she is part of our little family.. Look forward to opinions. Cheers

  185. Hi Michelle

    I read all messages :-)

    Sorry about Chudleigh's other knee. Yes, that happens very often (that the other knee goes also)

    The chances of the already operated knee failing are extremely low once the post-op is done. She is almost at the end of the period needed for the knee to be safe, so her odds are good.

    Either way, her odds are better with the second knee repair than being left alone.

    Jasmine's second knee "went" three months into her post-op and she did fine. She's over two years past her surgeries now and her knees are as good as new. She did have stem cell therapy added to the surgeries, but at 5 months post op you should be quite safe.

    Either way though, repaired knee better than a non-repaired one, plus there is arthritis you need to think of with unstable knee.

    Jasmine's quality of life today is the same it was before things went wrong. If the knees are fixed, healed properly and you follow properly with the physical therapy and rehab (very important part) no reason quality of life should be different than prior injury.

  186. great posting!! it helped me alot thanks!

  187. Hey Jana...it's been quite awhile since I talked about Xena...and it has been 2 years since she had her surgery (this whole page has been didicated to Xena for the most part) Well.....I have a feeling that Xena might have done her second leg :-( ....I know the last time we had this scare, it was only a pulled muscle..so this time we decided to wait it out and see (well my husband wanted too - he is not an animal lover like I am)..it has been about a month and a half..and sometimes it seems as though nothing is wrong..and then other times, it seems like her other leg has gone...my husband insists on waiting until we can tell for sure (I hate that)...but I know it is a very good possibility (although I am quite happy that she lasted 2 years..I know that is uncommon to last that long before the other leg goes...within the next coupld of weeks (no matter what my husband says..lol) I will be bringing her in...and at least finding out for sure...will keep you posted :-)

  188. Hi Julie,

    yes, you should definitely have a vet look at what is going on with the leg; the second ACL going at some point in time is quite common. You cannot tell for sure yourself; a vet has to make that determination. Meanwhile, if it is an injured ligament, long wait only causes development of arthritis. There is no way you guys yourselves can tell for sure, sorry.

    Best of luck,

  189. Couldn't agree with you more...Xena has an appointment with the vet tomorrow afternoon...will keep you posted on what the vet says...asking you to cross your fingers that it is only a pulled muscle or something...but whatever it is...we are taking care of her...

  190. Well Jana....all the finger crossing did not work...it seems as though Xena has either torn or ruptured her other ligament...took her to to vet tonight...they didn't even want to take an XRay...all he had to do was roll her leg around..and according to him..it moved way to much. This is not the same vet that did her first leg...this is her actual vet (we had to take her somewhere else last time because our clinic had a fire and had to put all their patients elsewhere) Anyway..long story short...she has an appointment on Friday morning to get the operation done...at least now..I know kind of what to expect..and I will make sure that I do the PROM's right away

  191. Yeah ... I didn't really think it would have, sorry about that.

    Yes, what he did is the "drawer sign". While negative drawer sign doesn't always mean the knee is OK, positive drawer sign does always mean it is not. Getting an x-ray in addition to that would just be a waste of your money.

    I have an article on that, you can check it out.

    Best of luck for the surgery (you did pre-op blood test, right? If not you should)

    I also have an article with a detailed example of post-op recovery plan now.

    Best of luck,

  192. What would the pre-op blood test do? Our vet told us that he doesn't usually do blood test for these types of things..he said he depended on the dogs condition (age, weight, or if he finds something wierd after she is put to sleep and her knee is open) He told us that because the hospital we went to before, did all that, and it's only been 2 years..that there was no point. He also told us that Xena would be getting "gold" clamps in this time..he says they are new and the way they crimp is better than the kind she had before...
    Anyway...I am sure, as with everything...some things might be different the second time around..so I am sure I will have some questions for you.but at least I am more prepared than I was the first time.

  193. I think that doing a pre-op blood test is a good practice; it is to make sure that the dog is healthy and that there shouldn't arise any anesthesia complications.

    Normally a blood test to be valid as pre-op screening needs to be up to a month old, so many things could have changed in two years, truly. It is a safety precaution. I have to say I wouldn't even do dental work without screening first.
    Why Your Pet Needs Pre-anesthetic Testing

    1. Thanks Jana...we are taking Xena in tomorrow for the blood testing...I just told the vet that I was concerned about her weight...and I wanted to make sure...he understood that...hopefully the operation on Friday will still be a go

  194. Hi Jana...just to let you know that Xena is good to go for her surgery tomorrow....everything came back good..the only thing that my vet is a little concerned about his her weight, and said the recovery might be a bit harder because of it..I think I need to have her go on a diet...but will keep you posted when the surgery is done

    1. Hi Julie,

      great to hear! It was not a waste of money, trust me. There are dogs who died just going for teeth cleaning. Always better safe than sorry, plus you have additional data about Xena's health, which is good also.

      Weight, huh? Extra weights isn't a great plan, try to get it off as soon as you can. Probably also what hastened the ACL giving up.

      Best of luck for tomorrow, keep me posted


  195. Talked to the vet today...and he said that Xena made it through her surgery with flying colors...he said he looked at her left leg (the first one) and it is doing very well also....Xena does have quite a bit of arthritis in both of her back legs and her hips (due to the problems with her ligaments) The vet is talking about some kind of shot that we would give her once a day or something that would help alot with the arthritic pain (but we will find out more tomorrow when we pick her up)...this time, they also did some kind of laser thing to her surgical area which is supposed to make it heal better?? That didn't happen the first time...I must say...I am so glad I was able to go to my regular vet this time...he makes me feel good about everything. Will let you know how things go after we get her home

  196. Awesome, happy to hear the surgery went well! Yes, arthritis sets in very easily; and even more so if there is any extra weight.

    Please make sure you know exactly what the injection would be. I would advise against a steroid shot. That one normally lasts a month so it doesn't sound like that would be it.

    If he means Adequan shot, that is a different story, this one is a good stuff. There are normally done weekly initially and then monthly or on as-needed basis.

    Can't think of anything that would be done daily (for arthritis that is)

    Adequan is good if that's what they meant.

    Laser therapy is also great, both for healing of the surgical site and the arthritis also. There is an article on that on my blog also.


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